Streetcar Named Desire CastLast night, the broad strokes of the theatrical production, Streetcar Named Desire, that formed the preview I’d seen April 3rd, had been filled in with the fine details that any work of art needs, moving to it’s finished state. On hand, leading the nuanced performances are Nicole Ari Parker as the delusional “Blanche DuBois” and  Blair Underwood with the virile muster of “Stanley”, enlivening the soul searching poetry of Tennessee Williams’ manuscript.  Adding strokes of color were Daphne Rubin-Vega’s portrayal of “Stella”, Wood Harris giving “Mitch” a humility and humor along with Carmen DeLavallade, dancing lightly in the venue that has been part of her stellar life for many years. As with any work of art, the finely tuned details will continue to be placed on this canvas with gestures, expressions and movements, as it already fills the audience’s heart with hope and humor.

The road to fulfillment of this dream is like a well-wrought play itself, with Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey at the helm, building on their success with “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. These undaunted theatrical impresarios have pulled on a knowledge of their audience that have alluded other producers through the vast network of access they have created among new theater-goers. As a member in attendance last night, I felt like a particularly welcomed guests, which has been my experience in each viewing of their productions. The after party at the Copacabana on West 47th Street added to the story of friends and ordinary people coalescing around the success of their latest venture. The many storied past of the “Great White Way” which has many new shades of color was highlighted when the investors of this new production were asked to stand at the end of the play, many of which were personal friends.

In the packed theater, seated nearby was people like Boris Kodjoe, Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, Tamara Tunie, Debbie Allen, Melissa Harris-Perry, Marcus Samuelson, Donna Williams, Nadia Fattah, Terrie Williams, Marie Brown, Donald Bogle, Bethann Hardison, Debra Lee, Bob Johnson, Linda Davila and her husband Aldo, Tom and Pat Brandsford, Renee Hunter, Julio and Michelle Peterson, some of whom Joe Steele and I are happy to call friends. At the equally packed after party, we spoke with many of them and have photographed a few below.

Our last moment, upon leaving the club was running into Blair Underwood, who graciously received our appreciations and shook our hands as we stepped out into the rainy night.

Stephen Byrd, Producer and Sandy Shepard




Donald Bogle and Marie Brown

Linda Davila

Michele and Julio Peterson

Bethann Hardison and Stephan Campbell

Joe Steele, Melissa Harris-Perry, Glenn Tunstull

Audrey Bernard and Nadia Fattah

Ellen Perecman and Joe Steele

Renee Hunter

Tom and Pat Bransford

with Donna Williams

with Mary Ann Masucci

Jeanne Parnell

Click here for more pictures from opening night for Streetcar Named Desire

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