Dictionary of the Black Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre

By Allen Woll | Go to book overview

gasp with the simple beauty of Old Testament pageantry, and give you a sort of laughter that you never had before." Special praise went to Richard B. Harrison (The Lord) in a role that James Weldon Johnson found "perfectly played." The Green Pastures won the Pulitizer Prize. It continued its run until August 29, 1931, and toured the United States until 1935. Warner Brothers provided a film version of the play in 1936 with Rex Ingram* in the leading role.

GUYS AND DOLLS (Broadway, July 21, 1976, 239 p.). Producers: Moe Septee and Victor H. Potamkin. Book: Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Composer and lyricist: Frank Loesser. Director: Billy Wilson.

Cast: Robert Guillaume* (Nathan Detroit), Norma Donaldson (Miss Adelaide), Ken Page (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Ernestine Jackson (Sister Sarah Brown), James Randolph (Sky Masterson), Christophe Pierre (Benny Southstreet), Sterling McQueen (Rusty Charlie), John Russell (Harry the Horse), Clark Morgan (Lt. Brannigan), Jymie Charles (Angie the Ox), Emett Wallace (Arvide Abernathy), Irene Datcher (Agatha), Alvin Davis (Calvin), Marion Moore (Martha), Derrick Bell (Joey Biltmore; Waiter), Andy Torres (M. C.; Drunk), Prudence Darby (Mimi), Edye Byrde (Gen. Cartwright), Walter White (Big Jule).

Guys and Dolls was one of several 1970s musicals which attempted to revive old chestnuts with black casts and modernized music. Since Hello Dolly! had attracted audiences earlier with Pearl Bailey* and Cab Calloway, other producers sought suitable vehicles for black performers. Guys and Dolls, a 1950 Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows smash, was reorchestrated and slightly rewritten for a black cast. The show displayed some of Broadways's top musical comedy performers--Robert Guillaume, Ernestine Jackson, and Ken Page--but it was to no avail. Even Billy Wilson, who shaped the previous season's Bubbling Brown Sugar* into a hit, was unable to accomplish the same feat with Guys and Dolls.


H

HAITI (Lafayette, March 2, 1938, 168 p.). Producer: James R. Ullman for the Federal Theatre Project* of the Works Progress Administration. Author: William Du Bois. Director: Maurice Clark.

Cast: Louis Sharp (Toussaint L'Ouverture), Rex Ingram* (Christophe), Alvin Childress (Jacques), Canada Lee* (Bertram), Louis Smith (Andre), Frederic Gibson (Guy), Zola King (Daughter), Mary Barnes (Mother),

-72-

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Dictionary of the Black Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • INTRODUCTION: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BLACK THEATRE xiii
  • Part 1: THE SHOWS 1
  • A 3
  • B 11
  • B 49
  • E 57
  • F 72
  • G 90
  • H 94
  • H 96
  • H 122
  • H 142
  • H 163
  • H 173
  • H 179
  • H 181
  • Part II: PERSONALITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS 183
  • A 185
  • B 186
  • C 193
  • D 199
  • D 202
  • D 203
  • G 209
  • H 212
  • I 220
  • J 221
  • K 227
  • K 229
  • K 230
  • N 238
  • O 240
  • P 240
  • P 242
  • P 246
  • P 250
  • P 252
  • W 253
  • Appendix I: A CHRONOLOGY OF THE BLACK THEATRE 267
  • Appendix II: A DISCOGRAPHY OF THE BLACK THEATRE 279
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 281
  • NAME INDEX 289
  • PLAY AND FILM INDEX 326
  • SONG INDEX 338
  • NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 357
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