April 23, 2012 |
The new Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams'"A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Broadhurst Theatre has one thing that distinguishes it from its predecessor productions -- it's performed by a cast of mostly African American actors. Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker portray Stanley (first name only) and Blanche Du Bois in Williams' hot-house drama set in the French Quarter of New Orleans.Daphne Rubin-Vega plays the long-suffering Stella and Wood Harris plays Mitch. Emily Mann, who is the artistic director the McCarter Theatre Company in New Jersey, directed the production.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2012 |
In a city that is often derided for its lack for public transportation, downtown L.A. is the one exception. The city center has light-rail lines, a subway, a maze of bus routes and shuttles, links to commuter rail and even a tiny funicular that trudges up and down Bunker Hill. But many residents and developers say that it can still be difficult to get around the far-flung city center without a car. So urban planners and downtown boosters have spent considerable time on what may have once been considered impossible: creating a truly car-optional neighborhood in the center of a region defined by its car culture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2006
Oct. 5, 1908: A "tall, well-built woman of stylish mode, wearing rimless spectacles and carrying a sunshade" attacked a conductor after the Pico Heights streetcar on which she was riding went past her stop, The Times reported. She claimed that the conductor hadn't called the street, even though he had, The Times said. She kept complaining, blocking the aisle, until he tried to push her aside so passengers could get off at Pico Boulevard and Westlake Avenue.
April 15, 2012 |
NEW YORK - New Yorker drama critic John Lahr set off a social media firestorm in December with a blog comment that called for a moratorium on those "infernal all-black productions of Tennessee Williams plays unless we can have their equal in folly: all-white productions of August Wilson. " The theater community, as viewed from my portal on Facebook, found the comparison not just inept but inflammatory. Emily Mann, who happens to be directing the multiracial Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker that opens later this month at the Broadhurst Theatre, however, refused to take the bait when we spoke during a rehearsal break in March.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2012 |
Voting will conclude Monday in a special election on a streetcar proposal in downtown Los Angeles. The proposal before downtown residents calls for an assessment district to be created to help finance the $125-million project. If it receives the two-thirds majority required to pass, planning would move forward, with completion scheduled in 2015. Supporters of the streetcar say it would bring a fresh wave of economic development to downtown. Its proposed route covers 10 blocks of Broadway - where the city is working to revive old movie palaces and vacant office buildings - before veering over toward L.A. Live and then up through the financial district.
May 6, 1989 |
There aren't many more poignant and telling exit lines in the modern theater than Blanche DuBois' in "A Streetcar Named Desire." After the brutal Stanley finally tears her down, she's taken away by asylum attendants. Her last words are to them: "Whoever you are--I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." The irony penetrates. It's Tennessee Williams summing up, his coda for this luminous masterpiece. Depending on the kindness of strangers can get you into big trouble, especially if you're weak, especially when the stranger is someone like Stanley Kowalski.