Everybody's Ruby, the Thulani Davis play in which Phylicia Rashad plays Harlem Renaissance luminary Zora Neale Hurston, has extended its run until April 11. The production, which began performances Feb. 23, opened March 8 for an initial run through March 28 at the Public Theater's Anspacher space. Kenny Leon, artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, directs.
Also starring in the 13-character play are Viola Davis (Seven Guitars) and Bill Nunn, veteran of several Spike Lee films, including "Do the Right Thing."
Everybody's Ruby: Story Of A Murder In Florida played as part of the Public's First Stages series last season. The drama is based on the murder of a popular white doctor in 1952 Florida. A married black woman is accused of the crime, setting off tremendous racial agitation and Hurston's investigation into the murder.
"I discovered the story in a footnote in a biography of Zora Neale Hurston," said adaptor Thulani Davis. "It was an amazing untold story about sex, race, money and Southern mores. I started out reading the newspaper clips Hurston wrote, and I couldn't answer to my own satisfaction why she didn't write a book about it. It raises questions about who owns a story."
Davis, a journalist and novelist as well as a playwright, is also collaborating with Wolfe and opera composer Anthony Davis (X) on a new opera, Amistad, to premiere at Chicago's Lyric Opera in the months ahead. Rashad has appeared as a regular on two Cosby sitcoms: the phenomenally popular '80s program "The Cosby Show," and the current "Cosby." On Broadway, she has appeared as the witch in Sondheim's Into the Woods. Recently, she played Medea at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, under the direction of Leon.
Everybody's Ruby will mark the second appearance by Zora Neale Hurston in an Off-Broadway play this season. Just before the new year, a revival of Zora Neale Hurston, starring Elizabeth Van Dyke, ended its stint at the American Place Theatre.
For tickets and information on Everybody's Ruby call (212) 239 6200.