Ceremonies in Dark Old Men
Negro Ensemble Company
February 5 – March 3, 1985
Martin Beck Theatre
New York, NY
April 26, 1967 – January 13, 1968
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Clem * (1966) Stage Play: Where’s Daddy? Comedy. Written by William Inge. Directed by Harold Clurman [final Broadway credit]. Billy Rose Theatre: 2 Mar 1966- 26 Mar 1966 (21 performances + 14 previews that began on 17 Feb 1966). Cast: Beau Bridges (as “Tom”) [Broadway debut], Barbara Dana (as “Teena”) [final Broadway role], Betty Field (as “Mrs. Bigelow”), Robert Hooks (as “Razz”), Hiram Sherman (as “Pinky”), Barbara Ann Teer (as “Helen”). Standby actor: Dortha Duckworth. Produced by Michael Wager. Produced by arrangement with Robert Whitehead.
THE NEGRO ENSEMBLE Company
(1967) Co-founders of the renowned theatrical troupe The Negro Ensemble Company.
A Raisin In The Sun
“Little did I know when I was studying acting in Philadelphia and attended — on that fateful evening! — my very first professional play with an all-Black cast during its pre-Broadway run, that I would soon be hired for that same Broadway production a few months later! Of course, by that time it had become a huge Broadway hit and the first to be written, directed, and performed by Black artists. “A Raisin in the Sun” had become the most critically acclaimed Broadway play ever, and I was cast to replace Louis Gossett (who played DIANA SANDS’ suitor…hence me and Diana!) in the role of George Murchison in that original production! Louis was on his way to Hollywood to reprise his role in the film version. And I was the extraordinarily lucky young thespian fresh in New York, getting his first Broadway job in the same play that changed my life and prompted me to make the move to New York. And performing with THE GREATS!“
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright
(1965) Stage: Appeared (as “Henry V”) in “Henry V” at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
(1967) Stage Play: Hallelujah, Baby! Musical. Music by Jule Styne. Lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. Book by Arthur Laurents. Musical Director: Buster Davis. Vocal arrangements by Buster Davis. Music orchestrated by Peter Matz. Dance arrangements by Luther Henderson. Choreographed by Kevin Carlisle. Scenic Design by William Eckart and Jean Eckart. Directed by Burt Shevelove. Martin Beck Theatre: 26 Apr 1967- 13 Jan 1968 (293 performances + 22 previews that began on 6 Apr 1967). Cast: Allen Case (as “Harvey”), Robert Hooks (as “Clem”), Leslie Uggams (as “Georgina”), Lou Angel (as “Calhoun”), Chad Dee Block (as “Bouncer”), Hope Clarke (as “Maid/Ensemble”), Marilyn Cooper (as “Mrs. Charles/Mistress/Ethel/Dorothy”), Carol Flemming (as “Princess”), Frank Hamilton (as “Mister Charles/Timmy”), Lillian Hayman (as “Momma”), Winston DeWitt (as “Hemsley Tip/G.I.”), Justin McDonough (as “Captain Yankee/Ensemble”), Saundra McPherson (as “Cutie”), Garrett Morris (as “Prover/Ensemble”) [Broadway debut], Michele Murray (as “Cutie”), Alan Peterson (as “Director”), Ann Rachel (as “Brenda”), Barbara Sharma (as “Mary”), Don Strong (as “Sugar Daddy/Master”), Bud Vest (as “Prince/Ensemble”), Alan Weeks (as “Prover/Tap/G.I.”), Standby: Norma Donaldson (as “Georgina”). Understudy: Justin McDonough (as “Harvey”). Replacement actors: Clifford Allen (as “Ensemble/G.I./Prover”), Lou Angel (as “Ensemble”), Judith Austin (as “Ensemble”), Michael Beirne (as “Captain Yankee/Ensemble”), Chad Dee Block (as “Ensemble/Official”), Carol Flemming (as “Ensemble”), Lee Hooper (as “Ensemble”), Bernard Johnson (as “Ensemble/G.I./Tip”), Louis Johnson (as “Ensemble”), Carolyn Kirsch (as “Ensemble”), Saundra McPherson (as “Ensemble/Maid”), Gerrianne Raphael (as “Dorothy/Ethel/Mistress/Mrs. Charles”), Larry Roquemore (as “Ensemble/Prince”), Kenneth Scott (as “Ensemble/G.I./Prover”), Don Strong (as “Ensemble”), Ella Thompson (as “Ensemble”), Billy Dee Williams (as “Clem”). Standbys: Lincoln Kilpatrick (as “Clem”), Lu Parks (as “Momma”), Freda Payne (as “Georgina”). Understudies: Michael Beirne (as “Harvey”), Carol Flemming (as “Ethel”), Louis Johnson (as “Tap/Tip”), Suzanne Rogers (as “Mary”). Produced by Albert W. Selden, Hal James, Jane C. Nussbaum, and Harry Rigby. Note: Mr. Hooks was nominated for Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical).
Hallelujah, Baby! (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
℗ Originally released 1967 Sony Music Entertainment
Though I had already performed in three Broadway plays portraying amazing young Black men and building a strong reputation on the New York stage. It wasn’t until ‘Dutchman’, the absolutely awesome two character play by the then ‘brand new’ Black poet/playwright LeRoi Jones (later Imamu Baraka.) As an actor, it changed my career status big time, and led to a higher cultural awareness, and created many cultural avenues for me as a Black artist, and eventually a successful theatre builder! Dutchman was a scathing confrontational drama set on a New York City subway train that shocked and enthralled Off-Broadway audiences throughout its popular run at Off Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre. Then we successfully toured Europe after closing. Here is the brilliant actress Jennifer West giving one of the great performances of that 1964 theatre season!
A Soldier’s Play