Williams & Walker Back in Spotlight in Alabama World Premiere of Nobody, March 12-28 | Playbill

News Williams & Walker Back in Spotlight in Alabama World Premiere of Nobody, March 12-28
Alabama Shakespeare Festival launches the world-premiere production of Richard Aellen's musical play, Nobody, about black vaudeville stars Williams and Walker, March 12 in Montgomery, AL.

Nobody — one of two new fully staged works in this spring's Southern Writers' Project at ASF — continues to March 28. The Fall of the House, an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired play, will run April 9-25.

Nobody, according to ASF, "is based on an uncomfortable and important piece of history — the minstrel show — highlighted by the tempestuous lives of Bert Williams and George Walker, who broke racial barriers by portraying racial stereotypes. The two down-on-their-luck African-American vaudevillians can't catch a break until they do the unthinkable — don blackface. But with fame and fortune come personal and social turmoil that threaten their relationships and their lives."

James Bowen (Bert Williams) and Sean Blake (George Walker) are featured. They performed in earlier workshop readings of the play at the Southern Writers' Project Festival of New Plays.

The score for Nobody features a number of Williams and Walker's turn-of-the-century vaudeville tunes.

Tim Rhoze (ASF's Bear Country) directs Nobody, with musical direction by Brett Rominger. Performances play ASF's Octagon Stage. Opening is March 14. *

The Fall of the House, written by Robert Ford, is "a darkly sophisticated work that involves a mystic whose supernatural life intertwines with famed writer Edgar Allan Poe and that of a young African-American female architect in the 20th century," according to ASF. "Through movement in time and place over the course of 150 years, surprising personal connections and answers to tragic events are revealed."

The Fall of the House will be directed by ASF's associate director and director of the Southern Writers' Project, Nancy Rominger. Rominger directed the debut of Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's The Furniture of Home at ASF last winter.

Jonathan C. Kaplan, Erika LaVonn, Margaret Robinson, Angela K. Thomas and Gerritt Vandermeer will be performing roles in both world premieres.

Other recent ASF world premieres include Gee's Bend (also by Wilder) and Mark Saltzman's Rocket City. Both plays have been published by Samuel French, Inc.

For information, visit www.asf.net or call (800) 841-4273. ASF is located at 1 Festival Drive in Montgomery's Blount Cultural Park.

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