Nicole Ari Parker Is Blanche Du Bois To Blair Underwood's "Stanley Kowalski" In "Streetcar"

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 5, 2011 7:00 AM
16 Comments
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Blair Underwood has found his Blanche Du Bois. Nicole Ari Parker will make her Broadway debut as Blanche Du Bois, opposite Underwood (also making his Broadway debut) playing Stanley Kowalski, in the Emily Mann-directed production of A Streetcar Named Desire, scheduled to debut in spring 2012.

Unlike her co-star, Ms Parker, who graduated with an acting degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, doesn't have any stage credits that I could immediately identify; so not only will this be her Broadway debut, it also very well could be her stage debut!

And what a stage to start on - the bright lights of Broadway, where many slave for years for opportunities like this.

On screen/on stage chemistry is so crucial in this, given the relationship between these 2 specific characters, and all that transpires between them; I certainly hope both actors deliver.

So, the obvious next question is, who's going to be on the receiving end of his calls for "STELLA!?"

We'll find out soon enough.

The play is expected to run in 2012.

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More: Theater, casting

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16 Comments

  • CareyCarey | August 8, 2011 6:05 AMReply

    lol @ P-Shiddy. And listen, I'm with you, verteran actors aside, it would be a travesty if Huff n' Puff was standing next to Humpty Dumpty. That boy has to be the worst black actor on earth! I have refused to watch him in "Raisin".

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2011 5:42 AMReply

    I've never seen Streetcar so I guess my opinion isn't as strong about this one-shrug.

    And Carey you are wrong as 2 left shoes for casting Brangelina in Raisin in the Sun-lmao--but that's not far from casting P-Shiddy with highly acclaimed veteran stage actors. Talk about a travesty.

  • CareyCarey | August 8, 2011 4:57 AMReply

    Blu, I agree, I've always thought Nicole Ari Parker had huge talent. In 1997 when I saw her in Sparks with Terrence Howard, I remember thinking, who is this fine and talented actress, and who is this no-acting brotha? :-)

    Really, it's been 15 years ago and Terrence has had a great career, but she stood out (imo) in that movie.

    But this part? Let it lay.

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2011 3:52 AMReply

    No comment on Blair, but as for Nicole there were a few episodes of Soul Food (don't laugh) where she displayed major chops. One in particular, where her bf Boris was leaving her and she dropped her independent woman facade and damn near groveled at his feet, begging him not to leave. I know this is not the same as carrying a legendary play, but i wish her the best. Many of "our" actors are very talented but never get a chance to shine.

  • Ladybug | August 7, 2011 12:34 PMReply

    Screaming . . . its ridiculous . . . had conversation with a friend about this . . . where I said "Why don't they piss in our faces?" and she said "They are and telling us its lemonade!" These are iconic roles . . . for very talented actors . . . I don't think either of them fit into this category . . . sorry . . . Its ridiculous! They are hoping black folks will run to the theater to see them . . . pure business . . . no art . . . . the funny part . . . many will . . . there will be no growth for us if this continues.

  • CareyCarey | August 7, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    THANK YOU, Ms. Lady Bug.

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed (I’m sure someone has) but “black bait” is a growing trend. Hey, Idris Elba is in Thor, so lets run out and get our tickets. and while we’re out, we might as well get our tickets for “Shame”, cuz Nicole Beharie, who just happens to be black, is in it (in a small role). Oh yeah, Rihanna is in Battleship, so quick, hurry, get yo ticket on the blackhand side. So yeah, for sure Ladybug... “Its ridiculous! They are hoping black folks will run to the theater to see them . . . pure business . . . no art . . . . the funny part . . . many will...” many will raise their money in the air like they just don’t care.

    I am reminded of a song by the Ohio Players... FIRE!

    “The way you walk [black girl] and talk, really sets me off a fuller love, child, yes, it does. The way you squeeze [black man] and tease, knocks to me my knees ‘Cause I’m smokin’, baby, baby. The way you swerve and curve [black folks], really wrecks my nerves, and I’m so excited, child. The way you push, push let’s me know that you’re good [ to go]. You’re gonna get your wish... FIRE!” There’s a black person on the stage, and in a theater near you. So hurry, run, get your tickets and like it.

  • yolanda6 | August 6, 2011 7:08 AMReply

    Blair can play a thug very well. Check him out in Mama Flora's family, a CBS movie he did with Queen Latifah and Cicely Tyson . Also his role as Simon in Dirty Sexy Money had some bad boy tendencies as well.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mama-Floras-Family-Cicely-Tyson/dp/B00005R86Os well.

  • CareyCarey | August 6, 2011 3:39 AMReply

    Kia, Kirk & Carey, the Three Musketeers, cuz I can't see this, no how no where. I mean seriously, what's next, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Rasin in The Sun... Walter and his wife?

    I know that's a stretch, but come on. Blair Underwood stepping in Marlon Brando's shoe is akin to Lady Gaga covering an Aretha Franklin song. Yeah, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. some things can/should never be.

  • Kia | August 6, 2011 3:11 AMReply

    They should archive Brando's performance and label it unsurpassable. I believe they should let this one rest, but best of luck all the same.

  • Kirk | August 6, 2011 2:44 AMReply

    @Karena, you have great vision 'cause I can't see Blair in this role, Kowalski was a working class-thug. I just don't see that in Mr. Underwood, despite his quality acting chops. He reminds me of a male Halle Berry (for white America), their ideal of what's acceptable "blackness."

    Hope it works out, but I still can't get over him playing Russell Simmons in "Krush Groove," worst casting in a movie of non-actors, lol.

  • Karena | August 6, 2011 1:46 AMReply

    I hope this play does well, I would love to see it. I can so totally see Blair playing the role of Stanely ( Marlon Brando's role). The character of Stanely was prone to bouts of anger and rage without warning, I've seen Blair portray those emotions in the movie Asunder. As for Nicole I'm glad to see her getting work. I hope she does well.

  • Julius Hollingsworth | August 6, 2011 1:39 AMReply

    Parker is not the first name that would have pooped into my head for this job, but
    I'm sure she wants this to work and she will do her best to make it as wonderful as everyone on their creative team wants it to be.She will probably be wonderful.

  • Tamara | August 5, 2011 9:26 AMReply

    Adore the film. Wish I could see this production.

  • tambay | August 5, 2011 8:00 AMReply

    @ Jo - I stand corrected Jo. Thanks for that.

  • Jo | August 5, 2011 7:49 AMReply

    Parker has an extensive background in theatre, having performed in incredible Off-Broadway productions like Chicago, House of Lear, and Romeo and Juliet.

  • Vanessa Martinez | August 5, 2011 7:28 AMReply

    Wow, I've only seen the film version with Marlon Brando. This seems quite challenging. Would love to see what they do with it.

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