Crumbs From the Table of Joy continues its regional rounds with a new production at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. The staging, set on the more intimate Cassius Carter Centre Stage, begins performances Feb. 7 for a run through March 18. Opening night is Feb. 10.
Crumbs, told as the coming-of-age story of Ernestine Crump in 1950s Brooklyn, chronicles the changes an African-American family endure as they move from the overtly racist South to the more quietly segregated North. While Ernestine and her sister Ermina fall under the spell of their sexually and politically open-minded Aunt Lily, their widower father, Godfrey, falls in love with the German World War II refugee, Gerte Shulte.
A NAACP nominee for Crumbs, Nottage is the author of Mud, River Stone, Por'knockers and Poof!, a Heideman Award winner. Her newest play, Las Meninas, about the scandalous affair between Louis XIV's Queen and her African servant, was read in Seattle in May.
Nottage took the title Crumbs From the Table of Joy from the poem "Luck" by Langston Hughes. He wrote "Sometimes a crumb falls/From the table of joy,/Sometimes a bone/Is flung./To some people/Love is given/To others/Only Heaven."
Drama Desk winner Seret Scott (My Sister, My Sister) directs. She was at the head of the Old Globe's 2000 production of The Trojan Women, adapted by Marianne McDonald. Other credits include the world premiere of Mud, River, Stone and the American premiere of The Joy Luck Club. Melany Bell stars as Ernestine Crump. Also in the cast are Lise Bruneau (Gerte Shulte), Bryan Hicks (Godfrey Crump), Audra Alise Polk (Ermina Crump) and JoAnna Rhinehart (Lily Ann Green).
Designing Crumbs From the Table of Joy are David Ledsinger (sets), Esther Marquis (costumes), Trevor Norton (lighting) and Paul Peterson (sound).
The Old Globe Theatre is located in San Diego's Balboa Park next to the Museum of Man. Tickets are available by calling (619) 239-2255. The Old Globe is on the web at http://www.theglobetheatres.org.
— By Christine Ehren