Roger Smith and Sarah Jones. Though the names sound like aliases you'd find in a hotel registry, the two are real and connected. Jones, a solo performer, whose Surface Transit will surface at Off-Broadway's American Place Theatre this fall, will offer a one-night preview of the show, Oct. 13, at the Roger Smith Gallery in the penthouse of the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City. Jones, the 1997 Nuyorican Grand Slam winner, already presented her Surface Transit: More Sketches of Ordinary People Aug. 26 for an invited audience at the American Place Theatre. APT's artistic director Wynn Handman directs.
Transit features slices of the lives of eight ordinary people, old and young, poor and rich, male and female, who are either victims of hate or the victimizers. Jones performs the characters including Miss Lady, an elderly street person, Joe, a racist Italian-American cop, and Rashid, a recovering addict.
Jones, born into a mixed marriage in Baltimore but raised in Queens, is a 25 year old "zebra" as she calls herself. Other projects have included fine-tuning The Capeman, the poetry piece "Blood" and tracks on the hip hop albums, "Eargasms" and "Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1."
For information on the Surface Transit at the Roger Smith Gallery (501 Lexington Ave.) call (212) 832-8831.
-- By Christine Ehren & David Lefkowitz