The Public Theater will have rapper-actor Mos Def in the house for its staging of Suzan-Lori Parks' new take on "The Scarlet Letter," a play called F****** A, starting performances Feb. 25, 2003 at the Public's Anspacher Theater.
Mos Def, known as a rap singer, made the jump to the legit stage when The Public's staging of Topdog/Underdog moved to Broadway in 2002 after a run downtown in 2001 (with Don Cheadle in the role Mos Def would eventually take over). Jeffrey Wright appeared both downtown and on Broadway in that 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner by Parks.
Michael Greif (Rent) will stage F****** A, whose title is pulled from the popular profane term. The New York Times reported Oct. 25 that Mos Def's role in the work is "a reckless ex-con" and the piece "follows the lives of two women named Hester — one is an abortionist; the other is homeless."
Parks' previous In the Blood was also inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, "The Scarlet Letter," about accusations of adultery and the public shaming of a woman in Puritan American.
— By Kenneth Jones