Ernie Hudson and Billy Porter Join Off-Broadway's Birdie Blue Starring S. Epatha Merkerson

News   Ernie Hudson and Billy Porter Join Off-Broadway's Birdie Blue Starring S. Epatha Merkerson Actors Ernie Hudson and Billy Porter join S. Epatha Merkerson in the cast of the upcoming Second Stage Theatre presentation of Cheryl L. West's Birdie Blue, starting Off-Broadway May 31.

Seret Scott stages the New York premiere of West's drama at the midtown Manhattan stage to open June 23 for a run through July 17 run.

The playwright behind Jar the Floor takes a look at the world through the eyes of her sassy title character (played by Merkerson) who speaks of love, marriage and the passage of time and "tells it — and we mean all of it — like it is," according to show materials.

Merkerson is known to television audiences for her role on "Law & Order" and recent turn in the HBO Films adaptation of Lackawanna Blues. She has been seen on stage in I’m Not Stupid, The Old Settler, Fucking A and her Tony Award nominated turn in The Piano Lesson.

Film actor Hudson is remembered for his work in "Ghostbusters," "Basketball Diaries," "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and "The Jazz Singer." The HBO "Oz" native was also recently seen with Birdie Blue co-star in "Lackawanna Blues."

Porter — who just performed Off-Broadway in his Ghetto Superstar — has been seen on Broadway in Grease, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe and Smokey Joe’s Café. Director Scott previously staged Charles Fuller's Zooman and the Sign for Second Stage Theatre. As an actress, she has performed on Broadway in My Sister, My Sister and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

The Birdie Blue design team includes Anna Louizos (set), Emilio Sosa (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and Obadiah Eaves (sound).

Birdie Blue received a premiere workshop production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in July 2002. Marion McClinton directed the run starring Cicely Tyson and Charles Brown.

Tickets to Birdie Blue at Second Stage, 307 West 43rd Street (just off 8th Ave.) are on sale at the box office and by phone at (212) 246-4422 or (800) 766-6048. For more information, visit www.SecondStageTheatre.com.