Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Wright Stuff For Free Man Of Color

The Wright Stuff For Free Man Of Color

UPDATED: October 20, 2010

Hard to believe it's already been over eight years since either Tony-winning actor Jeffrey Wright or Tony-winning playwright/composer John Guare have been involved in a Broadway show.

But just as the leaves on the trees are beginning to change to a new color, so too will the stage at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. UPDATE: On October 23, Guare's latest work A Free Man Of Color begins previews (delayed by two days). George C. Wolfe directs this play with music (from Jeanine Tesori).

The show reteams Wright with Nick Mennell (Mos Def), who starred opposite each other in the Wolfe-helmed Topdog / Underdog in 2002. The production boasts an unusually large cast for a play: 32. Among them are many Broadway veterans, including John McMartin, Veanne Cox, Sara GettelfingerReg Rogers, Peter Bartlett, Arnie Burton, Brian Reddy and Robert Stanton.

Lincoln Center describes the production as comedy that's "by turns astonishing, raucous and panoramic":

Will Guare and Wolfe succeed with the Wright stuff? We'll find out after the play opens on November 18, 2010. The limited engagement is set to conclude on January 9, 2011.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

A Free Man Of Color is set in the boisterous New Orleans culture that existed just prior to the historic Louisiana Purchase. Before law and order took hold. Before class, racial and political lines were drawn. When New Orleans was still a parade of beautiful women and good-looking men, flowing wine and pleasure for the taking.

At the center of this Dionysian world is Jacques Cornet (Jeffrey Wright), who commands the men, seduces the women, preens like a peacock and cuts a wide swath through the city and the province. But, it is 1801 and the map of New Orleans is about to be redrawn. The Louisiana Purchase will bring American rule to New Orleans, challenging the chaotic, colorful world of Jacques Cornet and all that he represents.

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