Oni Faida Lampley has gone from playing herself as a young African-American woman disillusioned by a college-age visit to Africa in The Dark Kalamazoo, to an African-American woman disillusioned by her relationship with a great, but flawed man, Shakespeare's Othello.
Harlem Duet, a modernized interpretation of the classic tragedy Othello which takes place over three great periods in African-American history, imagines the life of Billie, a black woman who loves and marries Othello, only to be left by her husband for his white colleague Mona. The New York premiere drama written and directed by Canadian playwright Djanet Sears plays Off-Broadway's Blue Heron Theatre Nov. 9-Dec. 1 with an opening Nov. 13.
Gregory Simmons (Not About Nightingales, Six Degrees of Separation) is Othello. Also in the cast are Walter Borden (Canada), Barbara Barnes Hopkins (Magi) and Nyjah Moore Westbrooks (Amah).
A founder of the AfriCanadian Playwrights Festival, Sears won the Governor General's Literary Award and Dora Mavor Moore Award for Harlem Duet in 1998. She is the author of The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, Who Killed Katie Ross and is currently at work on the new play entitled The Dinner.
Tickets are $15. The Blue Heron Theatre is located at 123 East 24th Street between Park and Lexington. For reservations, call ((212) 206-1515. — By Christine Ehren