Apparently, there was a 'conflict of interest' in the new production of Conflict of Interest playing at the Henry Street Settlement's Harry De Jur Playhouse Nov. 2-26 in New York City. Earle Hyman, whose name was attached to the show prior to the opening, dropped out of the play months ago because of a "difference of opinion," said Hyman's agent to Playbill On-Line (Nov. 3). Hyman is replaced by Harold Scott.
Hyman is perhaps best known for his role as Cliff's father Russell Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." He also recently played in the Alley Theatre's premiere of Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby in Houston.
Scott appeared on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's Les Blancs (alongside castmate Hyman). He has also directed productions for the Great White Way including Suddenly Last Summer and Paul Robeson.
The New Federal Theatre production of Conflict of Interest by Jay Broad about a U.S. President who tries to remove an African American Supreme Court Justice stars Al Freeman, Jr. and Ellen Holly. Freeman, Jr. (Blues for Mr. Charlie , "Malcolm X") portrays the Supreme Court Justice Joe Balding. Holly, probably most known for her role as Carla on the soap "One Life To Live," plays his wife. Conflict had its debut at DC's Arena Stage in the 1971-72 season. It was that production that NFT founder and artistic director Woodie King, Jr., saw and decided, almost 30 years later, to bring back. Playwright-director Broad told Playbill On Line that when approached by King with the idea of the revival, he actually hadn't read it in over 15 years. However, he noted, "How little the actual thinking, about how government and politics work, has changed [since the '70s]. He added "It's probably more extreme today, in terms of what people would do to stay in power ."
Performances of Conflict can be seen at the Henry Street Settlement's Harry De Jur, 466 Grand Street (near Pitt St.) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, through Nov. 30. For tickets call (212) 279-4200 or visit the NFT Homepage.
— by Ernio Hernandez