Charles Smith's Knock Me a Kiss, Starring Andre De Shields, Begins Nov. 11

News   Charles Smith's Knock Me a Kiss, Starring Andre De Shields, Begins Nov. 11
Tony Award nominee Andre De Shields heads the cast of Emmy Award winner Charles Smith's Knock Me a Kiss, a play about the union of two major Harlem Renaissance families, in its Off-Broadway premiere at the New Federal Theatre.  The play begins performances Nov. 11. 

Andr Photo by Lia Chang

An official opening is set for Nov. 21 for a run through Dec. 5.

Chuck Smith directs a cast that also includes Erin Cherry, Gillian Glasco, Morocco Omari, Sean Phillips and Marie Thomas.

The creative team also features Anthony Davidson (set design), Ali Turns (costume design), Shirley Prendergast (lighting design) and Bill Toles (sound design).

According to press notes, "Knock Me a Kiss is a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois' daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America's foremost black intellectual, cofounder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a young poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. The marriage is a triumph of pomp and pageantry but fails to be a union of man and woman."

Charles Smith's plays include Pudd'n'head Wilson, Takuda, City of Gold, Free Man of Color and the recent The Gospel According to James. He holds two Emmys for the teleplays "Fast Break to Glory" and "Pequito."

De Shields, a Tony Award nominee for The Full Monty and Play On!, has also appeared on Broadway in Impressionism, Prymate, Ain't Misbehavin' and The Wiz.

New Federal Theatre is located at 466 Grand Street.  For tickets call (212) 352-3101 or visit

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