The Old Settler, John Henry Redwood's popular love story set in 1940's Harlem, opens its San Francisco debut July 22 at Palo Alto's TheatreWorks' Lucie Stern Theatre. Performances began July 19 for a run through Aug. 20.
The "old settler" of the title is Elizabeth, a single woman over 40 with no marriage prospects, who lives with her sister Quilly in a Harlem apartment. Quilly and Elizabeth share an uneasy peace after Quilly stole and lost her sister's last boyfriend. Their relationship is threatened again, however, by the arrival of Husband, a youngster from the rural South, who begins to fall for Elizabeth.
Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe directs. The founder and artistic director of Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience, she directed Who's Afraid of Solarin? for A.C.T. Conservatory and the world premiere of Robert Alexander's A Preface to the Alien Garden.
Judyann Elder stars Elizabeth with Vickilyn Reynolds as Quilly. Elder recently appeared in TheatreWorks' An American Daughter after stints on Broadway (I Have a Dream) and on TV ("Family Matters," "Martin"). Reynolds was Drama Desk nominated for The Colored Museum, a play she traveled with to Los Angeles and London, and she performed with the national tour of Bring In 'da Noise, Bring In 'da Funk.
Rounding out the cast are Aldo Billingslea (Gum) as Husband with Comika Griffin as Lou Bessie. Tickets are $38-$20. The Lucie Stern Theatre is located at 1305 Middlefield Road. For tickets, call (650) 903-6000. TheatreWorks is on the web at http://www.theatreworks.org.
-- By Christine Ehren