A revival of the Tony-nominated musical Dreamgirls by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger will be produced in July 2002 as a part of the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF). Jennifer Holliday will return to the role of Effie White, the role that won her a Tony after its opening on Broadway in 1981. Directed by Tony Award-winner George Faison, Dreamgirls is about a singing group that rises to fame in the 60's and 70's. The musical will be performed July 23-July 28 at the Theater of the Stars, Atlanta.
Actress, playwright and scholar Anna Deavere Smith will present a screening and discussion about her solo dramatic work Twilight on July 22-24. Twilight, which played on Broadway, focuses on the L.A. Riots and the police brutality case on the Rodney King beatings.
Since 1988 Atlanta, Georgia has hosted performances, showcases and events that make up this Arts Festival. Attracting visitors from around the world and crowds greater than one million, it has grown to be the world's biggest convention that celebrates the African heritage. The mission of the festival is "to develop, expose and educate audiences to the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide diverse opportunities for artistic and creative expression." In the past, world-renowned artists have been present at the National Black Arts Festival. Among them are Spike Lee, Katherine Dunhan, Harry Belafonte and Cicely Tyson, who will co-chair this year's event.
According to spokespersons at the Jeffrey Richards press office, other forms of entertainment will be performed and showcased at NBAF as well. Live music will include African rhythms, blues, jazz and praise songs. Dance companies will perform a mixture of American blues, contemporary dance, classical ballet and traditional African drumming. Award-winning and nationally acclaimed writers will be present at the upcoming festival as well. The Artists Market will provide a wide range of African crafts and souvenirs. The city of Atlanta and beyond will be celebrating the African culture in various forms, including a quilt exhibition, a photographic collection about the history of lynching and an exhibition of Jamaican art and African art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Tickets for NBAF 2002 can be purchased by mail or in person at the office of the National Black Arts Festival, 659 Auburn Avenue, #254, Atlanta, GA, 30312. For more information please visit www.nbaf.org/overview.html
— by Zoe Andrada