Last Friday, I took the NJ Transit train to Red Bank, NJ for the opening night performance of Two River Theater’s production of Wine in the Wilderness, written by Drama Desk Award winner Alice Childress and directed by Obie Award winner Brandon J. Dirden (director of August Wilson’s Radio Golf and King Hedley II). Two River Theater is located at 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701.
Crystal A. Dickinson (Broadway’s Clybourne Park, Two River’s Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars) leads the cast as Tommy opposite Korey Jackson (Two River’s The School for Wives, The Hot Wing King) as Bill Jameson. The cast also features Brittany Bellizeare as Cynthia, Ricardy Fabre (The Christians, A Raisin in the Sun) as Sonny-Man, and Keith Randolph Smith (Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Broadway’s August Wilson’s Jitney and American Psycho) as Oldtimer.
Performances continue through Nov. 6.
Check out my photo and video coverage, which includes the final curtain call thank you speech by Two River Theater’s Managing Director Michael Durst and Artistic Director John Dias at the 14:23 mark. This episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, which also features the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman and the opening reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, will air on Sunday, October 30 at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996.
Set in 1964 during the race riots in Harlem, this reflection on how art truly reflects life focuses on artist Bill Jameson and his latest work, three paintings representing three types of Black womanhood. More than his artistic vision is challenged by the arrival of an unexpected muse who refuses to be bound by his shallow assumptions of all that Black womanhood can be.
Playwright Alice Childress is often described as a groundbreaking artist because she was the only African American woman to have written, produced, and published plays for four decades. Actress and activist Ruby Dee, who starred in the 1974 film adaption of Alice Childress’ Wedding Band says, “Alice Childress is a splendid playwright, a veteran-indeed, a pioneer.”
The creative team includes Kaja Dunn, Intimacy Coordinator, Alex Murphy, Stage Manager, Natalie Jones, Assistant Stage Manager, Nikiya Mathis, Wig Designer, Richard H. Morris, Scenic Designer, Kathy A. Perkins, Lighting Designer, Karen Perry, Costume Designer, Kay Richardson, Sound Designer, and Caity Mulkearns, Associate Costume Designer.
Click below for tickets.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996.
Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
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