Pearl Cleage’s “Blues For An Alabama Sky” Play Opens April 13th

Pearl Cleage’s play, “Blues for An Alabama Sky”
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Photos: Allied Global Marketing

Allied Global Marketing has announced they are working alongside Center Theatre Group, for the premiere of Pearl Cleage’s play, “Blues for An Alabama Sky” directed by the incomparable, Mrs. Phylicia Rashad.

Rashad, who originated the role of Angel in the world premiere of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” more than 25 years ago, leads a cast that features, Joe Holt, Nija Okoro, Dennis Pearson, Greg Alverez Reid and Kim Steele.

The creative team available includes, Wendell C. Carmichael (costume, wig and hair design), with original composition by Dontae Winslow.

Set in 1930’s Harlem, this revival of Pearl Cleage’s rich and beautiful work runs at the Mark Taper Forum April 6 through May 8, 2022, with a Black Out performance on Friday, Aril 8th, with Opening night set for April 13, 2022.

SYNOPSIS

Angel is a free-spirited Cotton Club singer who's out of luck but never out of dreams. Guy is a costume designer waiting for Josephine Baker to invite him to join her in Paris. Delia, a young activist, is trying to give the women of Harlem a choice about their future. Sam, a prominent physician, is either delivering babies or out at the club letting the good times roll. And Leland, who recently arrived in Harlem from Alabama, is haunted by the wide-open skies and lost love he left behind. The lives and dreams of these men and women converge with passion and politics as the art and celebration of the Harlem Renaissance give way to the harsh realities of the Great Depression.


Here is the all-star cast and crew:

Joe Holt

(Sam Thomas**) New York actor Joe Holt returns to the stage for “Blues for an Alabama Sky” at The Taper. Recent credits include Fred Wilkes on “Bel-Air”, Dr. Leo Bennett on “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” Jesse Raymond on “All American: Homecoming,” and Detective “Mace” Cunningham on OWN’s “Delilah.” Regional credits include “Love and Information” at ACT, “Blue/Orange” at Hartford Theatre Works, “12 Angry Men” at Merrimack Repertory and a pandemic-interrupted “The Scarlet Letter” at South Coast Repertory.

Nija Okoro

(Angel Allen) is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she received a merit-based full scholarship. Since graduating, she has gotten to do stints in the National Broadway Tour of “Jitney” directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” directed by Phylicia Rashad at the Mark Taper Forum, “Two Trains Running” at The Matrix directed by Michele Shay, “Zoey’s Perfect Wedding” at Denver Center and the 2017 West Coast premiere of “The Legend of Georgie McBride” at the Geffen Playhouse. She has also made her way to the silver screen, having guest starred on such shows as “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “Animal Kingdom,” “The Duece,” “Start Up,” and starring in “The Black Emeror of Broadway.” She can be seen next in the Disney+ feature film “Hollywood Stargirl” directed by Julia Hart.

Dennis Pearson

(Leland Cunningham**) is making his Mark Taper debut. “GOING... GOING... GONE!” (The Hudson Theatre), “A Christmas Carol” (South Coast Stage credits include: Repertory), “A Soldier’s Play” and “Julius Caesar” (The Studio Theatre), “The Coarse Acting Show” (Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles), “Romeo and Juliet,” “Dream Girls,” “Look Away” (Long Beach Playhouse), “A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters” and “Euripides Medea” (for which he received a Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Award Nomination). Recently, he can be seen on screen starring in “Unlocked” streaming on Peacock and “Tinderbox” (DC Black Film Festival Best Actor Winner 2020). Dennis is a graduate of the SCR Acting Conservatory and has studied with Academy Award Winner Tim Robbins and The Actors Gang, Femi Ogun's Identity School of Acting, BGB and Joy Brunson's The Joy of Acting Studio.

Greg Alverez Reid

(Guy Jacobs) is a New York city-based Actor most recently appearing in “The Bluest Eye” at The Huntington Theatre in Boston. He can also be seen in the HBO/HBO Max film “Between The World and Me.” His theatre credits consists of Off-Broadway: “The Fabulous Miss Marie” (New Federal Theatre/Castillo Theatre). Regional: “Detroit '67” (Signature Theatre), “Fences” (McCarter Theatre Center/Long Wharf Theatre), “All My Sons” (People’s Light Theatre), “Broke-ology” (Theater Alliance), “Gem of The Ocean” (Hangar Theatre), “Seven Guitars” (Studio Theatre) and renowned arts centers like The Apollo Theater and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Locomotion) in his native Washington, D.C. He is a proud graduate of the illustrious Howard University in the newly named Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts and attended the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford. Greg is making his L.A. theatre debut.

Kim Steele

(Delia Patterson) returns to the Mark Taper Forum, fresh off her run in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “Hadestown” on Broadway. Other Broadway credits: “My Fair Lady” (Lincoln Center), “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” Favorite Off-Broadway/regional: “Motown the Musical” (National Tour), “Jerry Springer the Opera” (Signature Theatre Center), “Kiss Me Kate” (Pasadena Playhouse), “Hair” (Hollywood Bowl), “Carrie” (Los Angeles Theatre). Kim is a SoCal native with a B.A. in Theater Arts from UCLA.

WENDELL C. CARMICHAEL

(Costume, Wig, and Hair Designer). Theatre credits: Three Sisters, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, Ragtime, The Wizard of Oz, , Fool for Love, In the Heights, Native Son,West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, Othello. 2018 Stage Raw winner – Costume Design, three-time L.A. Ovation Award nominee, 2017 Orange County’s Best Costume Designs, 2015 NAACP Theatre Award winner. Member of Local 768, the Theatrical Wardrobe Union/LA Opera.

DONTAE WINSLOW

(Original Music, he/him/his) is one the rising stars in the music industry. He is known as this generation’s innovative film composer, arranger, music producer, and trumpeter. In five years he attained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Classical Music Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the John’s Hopkins University. He also completed studies at USC. Dontae scored opening music for HBO’s The Slow Hustle and scored the documentary Baltimore Rising about the death of unarmed Black male Freddie Grey. He composed music for BET’s the New Edition Story and Robert Townsend’s In The Hive. Dontae toured/performed/recorded with Justin Timberlake, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, director Tyler Perry. Kim is a CSA member and is a Governor for the Casting Director branches of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the Television Academy.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for all other performances of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” are currently on sale at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum and start at $30. They are available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012). Performances run Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Call for exceptions.

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