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

By Allen Woll | Go to book overview

which came to symbolize the mood of the Roaring Twenties as "The Charleston.

Miller and Lyles crafted a loosely structured libretto which allowed them to display their favorite vaudeville routines, such as "Fisticuffs," without the restrictions of a rigid plot. Their comedy skits combined verbal humor, based on extensive use of malapropisms, with physical humor which delighted their audiences. In Runnin' Wild Miller and Lyles portray Steve Jenkins and Sam Peck, two petty swindlers who are forced to flee their Jimtown home before the law arrives.

Several critics proclaimed Runnin' Wild equal in quality to Shuffle Along, while one suggested it was better because of its "faster pace and lavish scenery." After a profitable twenty-seven-week run on Broadway, Runnin' Wild continued its success on the road.


S

SAFARI 300 (Mayfair, July 12, 1972, 17 p.). Producer: Richie Havens. Book: Tad Truesdale. Director: Hugh Gittens.

Cast: Tad Truesdale, Lari Becham, Ernest Andrews, Joyce Griffin, Holly Hamilton, Onike Lee, Fredi Orange, Andre Robinson, Grenna Whitaker, Dorian Williams.

Safari 300 may have been a few years ahead of its time. While Broadway welcomed such "cavalcade" shows as Bubbling Brown Sugar* by 1976, this "300 year musical experience of black culture, song, and dance" was dismissed by both critics and audiences. Act I featured songs of the slavery era, while Act II presented a potpourri of items from minstrel shows, Cotton Club Revues, and even rock music of the 1970s. Safari 300 disappeared swiftly in the summer of 1972.

ST. LOUIS WOMAN ( Martin Beck, March 30, 1946, 113 p.). Producer: Edward Gross. Book: Arna Bontemps and Countee Cullen. Composer: Harold Arlen. Lyricist: Johnny Mercer. Director: Rouben Mamoulian.

Cast: Ruby Hill (Della Green), Harold Nicholas (Little Augie), Rex Ingram* (Bigelow Brown), Pearl Bailey* (Butterfly), Juanita Hall* (Leah), Robert Pope (Barfoot), Fayard Nicholas (Barney), June Hawkins (Lila), Louis Sharp (Slim), Elwood Smith (Ragsdale), Merritt Smith (Pembroke), Charles Welch (Jasper), Maude Russell (The Hostess), J. Mardo Brown (Drum Major), Milton J. Williams (Mississippi), Frank Green (Dandy Dave), Joseph Eady (Jackie), Yvonne Coleman (Celestine), Herbert Coleman (Piggie), Lorenzo Fuller (Joshua), Milton Wood (Mr. Hopkins), Creighton Thompson (Preacher), Carrington Lewis (Waiter).

-142-

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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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