Nicole Ari Parker to Star in Broadway's A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
According to Black Star News, Nicole Ari Parker will star opposite Blair Underwood in the upcoming Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Emily Mann. Parker will play Blanche Du Bois in the production, which is set to open in the spring of 2012.
Early in her career she appeared in several critically acclaimed independent films including The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, Boogie Nights, 200 Cigarettes, and the 1999 Sundance Film Festival winner The Adventures of Sebastian Cole. Parker also had a guest appearance on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a singer. She played the role of Stephanie in the movie Divas, alongside Khalil Kain. She also had a lead role in the 1998 film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie. She worked alongside Martin Lawrence in two of his films: Blue Streak and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.
Set against the backdrop of New Orleans' gritty French Quarter, Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning drama, A Streetcar Named Desire tells the tale of former school teacher and socialite Blanche DuBois, as she's forced to move in with her sister Stella and her animalistic husband Stanley (Blair Underwood). But the fragile, Blanche quickly gets a gritty life lesson in the seamy, steamy underbelly of 1940's New Orleans.
Streetcar was last seen on Broadway in 2005 starring Natasha Richardson, Amy Ryan and John C, Reilly. Front Row Production's multi-racial production of A Streetcar Named Desire is a follow-up to their highly successful Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which starred Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and James Earl Jones and was directed by Debbie Allen. The production subsequently moved to London's West End (with Jones and Rashad joined by Sanaa Lathan as Maggie, and Adrian Lester as Brick) where it was honored with the "What's Onstage" and the prestigious "Olivier" awards for Best Revival.
Emily Mann (Director) Multi-awarding winning director and playwright, Emily Mann is celebrating her 20th season as Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre, where she has overseen over 90 productions. Under Ms. Mann's leadership, McCarter was honored with the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Some of her directing credits include Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics with Jimmy Smits (also on Broadway); the world premiere of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon with Kristine Nielsen (also off-Broadway); Uncle Vanya with Amanda Plummer (also adapted); All Over with RoseMary Harris and Michael Learned (also off-Broadway; 2003 Obie Award for Directing); The Cherry Orchard with Jane Alexander, John Glover, and Avery Brooks (also adapted); Three Sisters with Frances McDormand, Linda Hunt, and Mary Stuart Masterson; A Doll House with Cynthia Nixon; The Glass Menagerie with Shirley Knight; the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's The Bells; The Tempest with Blair Brown; Romeo and Juliet with Sarah Drew and Jeffrey Carlson; I.B. Singer's Meshugah with Elizabeth Marvel(also adapted); the American premiere of The Mai by Marina Carr; the world premiere of Anna Deveare Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (also at the Mark Taper Forum); Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba (also adapted) with Helen Carey; the world premiere of Joyce Carol Oates' The Perfectionist; Strindberg's Miss Julie with Kim Cattrall, Donna Murphy, and Peter Francis James (also adapted); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Pat Hingle and JoBeth Williams; and Betsey Brown (co-author with Baikida Carroll and Ntozake Shange). Her plays include the multi-award-winning Execution of Justice; Still Life (six Obie Awards); Greensboro (A Requiem); and Annulla, An Autobiography. Ms. Mann wrote and directed Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, at McCarter and on Broadway (3 Tony nominations including Best Play and Best Direction; Drama Desk nomination; Joseph Jefferson and NAACP Awards; Peabody and Christopher Awards for her screenplay). A winner of the Dramatists' Guild Hull-Warriner Award, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its Council. A collection of her plays, Testimonies: Four Plays, has been published by Theatre Communications Group, Inc. Her latest play, Mrs. Packard, was the recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and was published by TCG in spring 2009. Most recently, Ms. Mann directed her latest adaptation, A Seagull in the Hamptons, a free adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, with Brian Murray and Maria Tucci; Mrs. Warren's Profession, with Suzanne Bertish; and the world premiere of Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I, due to appear on Broadway this season. In 2002, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.
Stephen Byrd (Front Row Productions, Producer) is the founder of Front Row Productions, Inc., which is dedicated solely to producing quality theatrical productions. As the Producer of the first African American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, which was the highest grossing play on Broadway in 2008, Mr. Byrd is realizing a 15 year vision emulating his favorite producers, Merchant and Ivory. The successful transfer of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof to the Novello Theatre on London's West End in 2009 played to sellout audiences for 20 weeks and managed to garner the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play. This was the first time an African American Producer received the Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play. He and producing partner Alia Jones are the only African American Producers on Broadway today. Following his work as an Investment Banker in M&A with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and as Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Office in both the London and Paris offices, Mr. Byrd was instrumental in the formation of a Private Equity LLC, Thurn & Taxis, for Prince Karl Von Taxis of Austria. He is currently a Principal and Co-Founder of StoneHedge Capital, Inc., a Private Equity firm. Mr. Byrd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Temple University and MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, in addition to attending the Alliance Française in Paris. He supports several community and non-profit organizations including Safe Horizon and The National Urban Technology Center. The native of Philadelphia was recently named as one of the most important African Americans in the theatre by The New York Daily News.
Alia M. Jones (Front Row Productions, Producer) joined Front Row Productions, Inc. in 2006 to bring classic works featuring African American actors to Broadway. Jones co-produced the first African-American revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway in 2008. Jones produced the West End transfer of the production featuring African American actors to London's West End. The West End production received the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play. She has over 15 years experience in strategic planning, marketing, finance and operations. Originally from Largo, Maryland, Ms. Jones began her career with Procter & Gamble developing systems for Global Perfumes, consolidating the Corporate Cash Flow and in Interactive Marketing as a project manager. She worked for six years in financial services with Lehman Brothers, Stonehedge Partners and HedgeCom in private client services and hedge fund administration. Jones earned a Bachelor of Mathematics from Spelman College and Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She completed her MBA in Finance and Marketing at New York University Stern School of Business. With a commitment to education and the arts, Jones serves on the board of The National Urban Technology Center, a non-profit organization established to teach youth life skills, health education, and career development through edutainment software. She is a member of The League of American Theatre Owners and Producers (The Broadway League).