Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre launches its 24th season Dec. 3 when adaptor-director Regina Taylor's Crowns opens, following previews that began Nov. 13.
The new play-with-gospel-music is based on the best selling book of the same name — subtitled "Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats" — by photographer Michael Cunningham and journalist Craig Marberry. The book is a volume of photos of African-American women in their Sunday church hats.
The cast of Crowns features Lawrence Clayton (Bells Are Ringing), Carmen Ruby Floyd (The Lion King), Harriett D. Foy (Once on This Island), Lynda Gravátt (45 Seconds From Broadway), Janet Hubert (Cats, TV’s "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"), Ebony Jo-Ann (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Lillias White (How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying).
Taylor is the author of many plays, including Escape from Paradise, Urban Zulu Mambo and Drowning Crow. Her writing efforts are overshadowed by her acting credits. She has appeared as a performer in Urban Zulu Mambo, The Vagina Monologues, at Second Stage in Jar the Floor and starred in the television series, "I'll Fly Away."
Ronald K. Brown handles choreography for Crowns, which is a co-production with New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center. Linda Twine serves as music director and conductor. The creative team includes Riccardo Hernández (sets), Rob Perry (lights), Emilio Sosa (costumes) and Darron West (sound). *
Up next at Second Stage is the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's new musical, Little Fish. Jennifer Laura Thompson, Lea DeLaria and LaChanze star in the production by The Wild Party and Marie Christine composer. The show which centers around a neurotic New Yorker who reflects on her attempts to quit smoking, exercise regularly, and find the man of her dreams is set to begin previews Jan. 21, 2003 and open Feb. 12. Graciela Daniele (Once on This Island, Marie Christine, A New Brain) directs and choreographs.
For tickets to Crowns at Second Stage, 307 West 43rd Street, call (212) 246 4422 or (800) 766-6048. A limited number of student rush tickets are available for $10 at 30 minutes prior to curtain. For more information, visit the Second Stage website at www.secondstagetheatre.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez