First Look Images At Revival Of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (w/ Black Cast)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 2, 2012 8:48 PM
31 Comments
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Join Blair Underwood as “Stanley,” Nicole Ari Parker as “Blanche, Daphne Rubin-Vega as Stella, and Wood Harris as “Mitch” in the upcoming Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Emily Mann, beginning on April 3rd (previews) ahead of an official April 22nd opening.

Streetcar, produced by Stephen Byrd, will occupy the Broadhurst Theater on 44th Street, and will feature an original jazz score composed by Terence Blanchard.

Another black Broadway show that I hope to see...

In the meantime... some publicity stills just released, above and below...

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31 Comments

  • Mark & Darla | April 7, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    Hey wait a minute, (Stanley) is thug, rapist, drunk, gambler and womanizer, no comments (correct one) complaining about a black man portraying a degrading character. Did I fall down and bump my head, this is S & A.

  • Nadine | April 4, 2012 8:20 PMReply

    I love Blair... always will. He's a real dude... not one of these cats who will do anything to "be down" with Hollywood. A real dude...and he's brilliant.

  • Monique A. Williams | April 4, 2012 6:59 PMReply

    I'm interested in seeing this, even with the pretty-but-terrible extremely Bland Underwood.

  • Donella | April 4, 2012 1:26 PMReply

    Nobody commits to crazy like Blair Underwood.

  • anon | April 4, 2012 11:09 AMReply

    As per usual dark skinned black men non black women... again. It looks good as coahtr was but mixed race women were used as the leads. Is there something wrong with ordinary bw or something? its sooooo predictable. Even when blks produce something they still have promote whiteness.

  • Cherish | April 15, 2012 3:41 PM

    ugh edit - "...but on colorism as well, as the sisters ARE Southern creole belles..."

  • Cherish | April 15, 2012 3:40 PM

    CBS This Morning did a nice clip on Blair Underwood and play. Blair stated that this new take on STREETCAR wasn't just about class, but colorism as well, as the sisters on Southern belles and Blair's character is that dark thug, and Blair thinking her sister married beneath her, not just in class but color as well. Interesting to see how this play addresses it, but of course it still would have been nice to see a dark-skinned woman get one of the roles.

  • Nadine | April 15, 2012 11:16 AM

    @JC - again... this is not really my issue, but your last responses to Anon leaves one with smoke and mirrors instead of clarity. "90% of African Americans are mixed with some other race......research it." - you. You must know that your quote, with it's "research it", seems intentionally misleading given how real-life works. If the answer to Anon's statement is that the adaption is based on the French Creole women and that the adaptation intentionally looked to cast lighter-skinned women who could pass for creole then that's the answer, but this "we alls mixed" is disingenuous, intentionally misleading, and signals a lack of clarity, (intentional or otherwise) by its writer. Not an authentic or even respectful response. People, in general, are not idiots.

  • JC | April 15, 2012 8:50 AM

    btw, over 90% of African Americans are mixed with some other race......research it.

  • JC | April 15, 2012 8:49 AM

    This Broadway staging is adopting the same concept (light skinned French creole DuBois sisters dealing with race/class issues in relationship to dark skinned Stanley/Mitch).

  • Nadine | April 7, 2012 12:39 PM

    @HUEY - Maybe Anon should have said "those who identify as black but have a higher ratio of European blood in their ad-mixture." If darker-skinned Black males were subjected to the same standards, it wouldn't take that populous all of 2 seconds to cry foul - please stop preaching from your perch. @Anon - be you male or female, I would just ignore the obvious...

  • Huey | April 7, 2012 11:41 AM

    "promote whiteness." Really? Are we suggesting that light skinned Blacks are white now? I know there are color issues in our community, but c'mon y'all. Next you'll join the chorus of white folks who question our President's Blackness. In other words, get over it. Read the Willie Lynch letter. I can't believe some of us are still falling for the same old okie doke.

  • starry118 | April 4, 2012 2:34 PM

    I was thinking the same thing...

  • Torrentia | April 3, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    Yes, this blog is about the African Diaspora and yet if you ask folks who are Dominican or Puerto Rican if they consider themselves black, you will get a resounding response of "NOOO!!!!" by several people. Being Dominican or Puerto Rican or South African or French Canadian is not necessarily just about nationality and you know it. Just ask Jennifer Lopez, she is Puerto Rican, does she consider herself black no matter how much may actually be there? Ummm, no.

  • Guest | April 3, 2012 12:29 PMReply

    I thought Kowalski was somewhat of a thug? Wood Harris has more of that than Blair seems to (remember "Krush Groove"?). This casting looks hella superficial, acting chops notwithstanding.

  • ghostwriter | April 3, 2012 10:45 AMReply

    Blair Underwood as Kowalski....hmmm, I dunno! Daphne Rubin-Vega probably has the strongest theater chops out of the whole cast.

  • CareyCarey | April 3, 2012 9:14 AMReply

    Blair has skills. Yep, as far back as Just Cause (1995, with Lawrence Fishburn) I noticed the dude had something special. Heck, he even did the thang in a Tyler Perry production and Set It Off. H O W E V E R, ask me if I'd be excited about Al Pacino playing Superfly or Mark Wahlberg & Natalie Portman in A Raisin In The Sun? I mean, some things just ain't right. I've heard they've changed some of the lines to fit the black cast. Here's a few--> Blanche DuBois: This old maid, she had a parrot that cursed a blue streak and knew more vulgar expressions than Mr. Kowalski. Stanley Kowalski: [to Blanche] Will you shut up! And stop talkin' about yo momma. [Resumes talking on the phone] Stanley Kowalski: No Tyrone, I'm not talking about you, we got a noisy black woman in the place. Blanche DuBois: Oh, Stanley! What sign were you born under? Stanley Kowalski: Hold up Tyrone. What Blanche... what sign?
    Blanche DuBois: Astrological sign. I'lll bet you were born under Aries. Aries people are forceful, dynamic, they dote on noise. They love to bang things around. Stanley: You know what I wanna bang around. Bring it over here and let's get busy baby.

  • ShebaBaby | April 2, 2012 11:31 PMReply

    Seriously y'all are on here arguing over race when the fine specimen that is Blair Underwood is killing every picture above with sex appeal? Lawd have mercy that man is foine!

  • starry118 | April 4, 2012 2:32 PM

    Amen to that!

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 2, 2012 10:32 PMReply

    Why can't we do more theater like this? Doesn't even have to be material from a white playwright -- just a good black one (Wilson, Hansberry, Parks, Sanchez, to name a few). Meanwhile, I'm not believing Underwood as Kowalski; he looks "hammy" in these publicity stills. It just occurred to me that Idris Elba might be the only "man's man" for the brothas right now -- and he's way too busy for Broadway (at the moment).

  • Torrentia | April 2, 2012 10:32 PMReply

    Zoe Saldana is Dominican and Puerto Rican. I am educated thank you very much.

  • starry118 | April 4, 2012 2:31 PM

    According to IMDb, in a quote, she has stated:

    "When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, "¿Qué te consideras, dominicana o americana?" (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don't understand it, and it's the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, "Yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.") [They go,] "Oh, no, tú eres trigueñita." ("Oh no, you are 'dark skinned'") I'm like, "No! Let's get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.")"

    She is Puerto Rican and Dominican. But these are not races, they are only cultures/nationalities. She also has Lebanese, Indian, Irish, and Jamaican lineage.

    She tends to play black characters, and has said that she sees herself as a black woman.

    In America, usually race is based simply on what people see as opposed to what they are. For example, when you look at Halle Berry or Barack Obama, if you didnt know them at all, never heard of them or anything, you would assume they are black (some would question whether they were "light skinned" black or if they were mixed, but none would really be 100% sure until they asked).

    Being black does not equate to being "African American". Black is just the skintone. There are White Hispanics and even Black Hispanics. Once again, most people in America, assume and label based on the outer appearances and make conclusions off of that.

    Also, People can self identify how they please. Even if she has Latina heritage, she can identify herself as black, since she is in skintone, black. Just like with Obama and Halle, they both self identify (for their own personal reasons) as black (sometimes interchanging it with biracial).

    Although self identity, is more or less just how the person sees themselves (and is usually based off of their own personal experiences in life), usually by society's standards, no one cares for or respects your decision of how you self identify. Society in itself is very boxed in, and prefers to label to their own fitting.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Zoe_saldana_black

  • anon | April 4, 2012 11:12 AM

    Yes she is mixed race (like most latinos) NOT black her father may have ben dark-skinned hence her colouring but her mother looks practically WHITE.

  • Mark | April 3, 2012 12:56 AM

    Really, if you're educated then how come you don't realize that Dominican and Puerto Rican are nationalities, like being Canadian or French or South African? Dominicans and Puerto Ricans and Cubans and Colombians and Costa Ricans come in different races: black, white, indigenous, Asian, etc.

  • Owelles | April 2, 2012 11:12 PM

    TORRENTIA -- Exactly! Notice other posts on this blog also deal with Dominican and Puerto Rican filmmakers? They are included. Duh! Again, read up the origins of many in the countries you name.

  • dean | April 2, 2012 8:56 PMReply

    Nicole Ari Parker is not black. She's mixed. Get your facts straight.

  • dean | April 3, 2012 5:28 PM

    Mark, get your facts straight. The average white American has 7% African blood. That does not make them black (and they are in fact "mixed") (And I contend that most people in the world are "mixed".) There is some point where if you add water to oil, it's not oil anymore. At some point it's watery oil and going further at some point it's oily water. It's foolish and racist to say that "to get more oil, just add water". Nicole Ari Parker's heritage goes past the point of being black from what I have read about her. That "one drop theory" is based on the theory that African blood is a taint and that any amount of it taints or spoils the remainder. That's racist. I oppose racism in all it forms and permutations. 10%-20% doesn't make you white and 10%-20% doesn't make you black. So, get your facts straight.

    On other matters, you can be black and Hispanic at the same time. The majority of Africans in the slave trade were taken to South America and not North America. There are many black people in Panama, Honduras and elsewhere in South and Central America.

  • Mark | April 3, 2012 12:43 AM

    Dean,

    Get your facts straight. The majority of African-Americans are mixed. Malcolm X., Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Frederick Douglass, blah, blah, blah.. They all had white ancestors from fathers to grandmothers. All genetic surveys of African-Americans show that the average black American has 10 to 20% white ancestry. Hell, Al Sharpton learned that he is related to Strom Thurmond's family.

    Why is it so difficult to deal with facts?

    Torrentia,

    This may come as a shock to you but there are black people outside the United States. Even more shocking the majority of Africans during the time of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade ended up in Latin America. You know, places like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

    Why do people have to be so ignorant???

  • Owelles | April 2, 2012 10:26 PM

    TORRENTIA -- Zoe is black. What else is she? Some of ya'll with your different hue of brown hang ups. Read the blog title. Shadow & Act On Cinema of the AFRICAN DIASPORA. Zoe is in that diaspora. Educate yourself.

  • Torrentia | April 2, 2012 10:22 PM

    Who cares? Zoe Saldana is not black, but she is cast as a black woman in films with black people, same with Meaghan Good, same with Sharon Leal. How often are films, plays, and various productions about black people consistently have an all black cast? Get over it and get over yourself.

  • Laura | April 2, 2012 10:04 PM

    I didn't know being Black and of mixed race were mutually exclusive. I think you should school President Obama about this, quick-fast-in-a-hurry, because he is totally clueless. BTW, you forgot to point out that Rubin-Vega is Latina --as in, being Black and Latina are mutually exclusive, also.

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