Anthony Chisholm Stars in DARK MEAT ON A FUNNY MIND at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Now thru 8/24
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe's 40th anniversary season continues with the world premiere of Wesley Brown's play Dark Meat on a Funny Mind, which stars Tony nominee Anthony Chisholm as legendary comedian Richard Pryor. In Dark Meat, Pryor and his mischievous alter ego (played by actress Trish McCall) revisit the characters who shaped his life and inspired his career. The result is hilarious, surprising and memorable. A. Dean Irby directs the production, which opens today, July 31 and runs through August 24.
Anthony Chisholm received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in August Wilson's Radio Golf. He also won Drama Desk and Obie Awards for his performance in August Wilson's Jitney. Chisholm has appeared on Broadway in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean and Two Trains Running, and he played the character Burr Reading in three seasons of the HBO series Oz.
Brown's play uses original stand-up and storytelling material to reveal the mercurial, hilarious and painful dimensions of the famed comedian's life. Brown's previous plays include Life During Wartime, which also premiered at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe; the New York Times called Life During Wartime "complex, intelligent and thought-provoking".
"Richard Pryor was without peers in dramatizing his own life," said Brown. "Rather than following the conventional birth-cry-to-death-rattle path of a staged biography, this play reimagines Pryor's stand-up performances in order to capture the spirit of this gifted artist."
"Dark Meat on a Funny Mind resonates with the Cafe's artistic legacy and traditions," said Daniel Gallant, Executive Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. "Pryor was a complex and multitalented artist who inspired many of our greatest solo performers, and Wesley is a nuanced dramatist whose work highlights the intricacies and hardships of artistic genius. Anthony Chisholm brings wit, skill and charisma to the challenging role of Pryor. We couldn't be more excited to present the premiere of this dynamic new play."
Dark Meat on a Funny Mind opens Thursday, July 31st and runs most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through August 24 (16 total performances) at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (236 East 3rd Street, between Avenues B and C in Manhattan). Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30PM; Sunday performances start at 3pm. Admission is $18; $15 tickets are available for students and seniors at the door. Tickets are available at www.nuyorican.org (or via the shortcut http://tinyurl.com/funnymind). This production is made possible in part by support from the New York State Council on the Arts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, CAST, AND DIRECTOR:
Anthony Chisholm (Richard Pryor) is a Tony Award Nominee (for Best Supporting Actor in a play, in the role of Elder Joseph Barlow in August Wilson's Radio Golf). He also performed on Broadway in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean and Two Trains Running. He is a winner of both the Drama Desk Award and the Obie Award for August Wilson's Jitney. He is also the recipient of the NAACP Theatre Award, the AUDELCO Award, the Ovation Award, and the I.R.N.E. Award. Chisholm played Burr Redding on the HBO television series "Oz" for three seasons.
Wesley Brown (Author) is the author of the novels Tragic Magic, Darktown Strutters and Push Comes to Shove, as well as the plays Boogie Woogie and Booker T., Life During Wartime and Prophet Among Them. He co-edited the multicultural anthologies Imagining America (fiction) and Visions of America (non-fiction), edited the Teachers & Writers Guide to Frederick Douglass and wrote the narration for a segment of the PBS documentary W.E.B. Dubois: A Biography in Four Voices.
A. Dean Irby (Director) is a New York City-based director/actor/educator. He has acted on Broadway (in The River Niger), off-Broadway, and off-off Broadway. His television credits include The Cosby Show, Another World, and over 80 television commercials. He has directed over 100 theatrical productions at venues including the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Negro Ensemble Company, Arena Stage, and the New Federal Theatre. He has served as acting coach for several television shows, including four years with The Cosby Show. This is the third play by Wesley Brown he has directed.
Trish McCall: (Richard Pryor's alter ego) Theater credits include: The Fabulous Miss Marie (Castillo Theatre), Modern Romance (EST), Under The Cross (New Worlds Theatre Project), Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods (Premiere Stages), The Guest At Central Park West (Workshop Theater), Funny House Of A Negro (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Waitin' 2 End Hell (New Federal Theatre). TELEVISION: The Blacklist, The Americans, The Good Wife, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, One Life To Live, Guiding Light, As The World Turns.
ABOUT THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE: Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theater and visual arts. A multicultural and multi-arts institution, the Cafe champions the use of spoken word and music as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists. Our community of spectators, artists and students is a reflection of New York City's diverse population. Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe "the most integrated place on the planet", the Wall Street Journal says the Cafe is a "a thriving arts center with partnerships across the city" and John Leguizamo says the Cafe "put the street on stage... Made our lives real, our emotions real."