Center Theatre Group hosted its popular Black Out Night Performance for Blues for an Alabama Sky on Friday, April 8, 2022, at the Mark Taper Forum. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson began the sold-out night with a pre-show address welcoming the audience into the theatre for this special performance of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” intended for Black theatregoers. Robinson, during the welcome, gave flowers to Pearl Cleage and director Phylicia Rashad for their continued excellence in the arts and for giving voice to cultural yet universal stories. Guests in attendance included: Susan Kelechi-Watson, Geffri Maya, Patrick Walker, Larry Powell and other notables.
This revival of Pearl Cleage’s rich and beautiful work runs at the Mark Taper Forum from April 6 through May 8, 2022, with the opening night set for Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, who originated the role of Angel in the world premiere of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” more than 25 years ago returns to direct this timeless piece that was first presented in 1995 at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. She leads a cast that features Joe Holt, Nija Okoro, Dennis Pearson, Greg Alverez Reid and Kim Steele.
Set in 1930’s Harlem, 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 the 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.
Tickets for all other performances of Blues for an Alabama Sky are currently on sale at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. They are also available through their website. Performances run Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2:30 PM and 8 PM, Sunday at 1 PM and 6:30 PM Call for exceptions. Center Theatre Group’s first Black Out Night was created in February of 2022 for Jeremy O. Harris‘ Slave Play and was based on the event he created in 2019 during the Broadway engagement to provide a freeing environment for Black-identifying audience members to experience the unflinching new work free from the white gaze.