The opening of "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," Anna Deavere Smith's solo show at the Mark Taper Forum about the Los Angeles riots and the events surrounding them, has been postponed 10 days, from Thursday to June 13. Already in previews, the show is the most anticipated of the city's spring theater season--and Smith's most ambitious work to date.
Best known for the recent PBS broadcast of her earlier work, "Fires in the Mirror," about racial riots in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., the Bay Area-based Smith takes on numerous personas in her shows, drawing the text from interviews she has conducted with public and private figures involved in a real-life event.
According to Gordon Davidson, Taper artistic director, Smith was unable until Wednesday to interview Reginald O. Denny, the truck driver beaten at the start of the riots. He is among several key figures who have been unavailable to the artist until this week. The possible addition of material from these interviews necessitates the change in the opening date, Davidson said.
The decision to postpone was made jointly by Davidson and Smith, he said.
In assembling this show over the past year, Smith has interviewed more than 175 witnesses and other key players in the civil unrest. "It's an enormously complicated piece; it has taken every bit of time we've given it," Davidson said.