This just in! Tony Award and Macarthur Genius Award winning playwright Lynn Nottage who knocked us out in 2009 with her Pulitzer Prize winning production Ruined is back with a comedy titled By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Starring Sanaa Lathan accompanied by a dynamic ensemble cast of Daniel Beaker, Stephanie J. Block, Kimberly Herbert Gregory, Kevin Isola and Karen Olivio the show premieres at the 2econd Stage Theatre off Broadway. Set in four different time periods, this production focuses on a black actress in the 1920’s up for a leading slave role in a Southern epic production a la Gone with the Wind.
Recently an excited and packed house of sisters with a peppering of brothers sat enraptured as Sanaa Lathan, Kimberly Herbert Gregory and Karen Olivio had us rolling reading a scene where the main character Vera discusses and downplays a potentially huge role trying not to get her hopes up in 1923 Hollywood. Sanaa played breadwinner while Kimberly’s character played Loud Sister and Karen ran the “I’m Passing” role, entering and exiting for a date with a Hollywood producer she just met- who thinks she is white! By the Way, Meet Vera Stark contains gender expectations and stereotypes for women, men, actresses, producers and the like. As each thespian plays multiple characters, this complex comedy looks to be a low, middle, and high brow hit. As the cast talked after the scene reading it was obvious each was eager to work with the playwright. This was day one of rehearsals and each was getting into the ensemble groove.
Run, don’t walk, to get tickets for By the Way, Meet Vera Stark and save when you use code MPVS Tickets: $42.50* (reg price $75). Here are three easy ways to purchase tickets: Online visit www.2st.com. By phone call 212.246.4422 or in person mention code MPVS Tickets at the 2econd Stage Theatre Box Office 305 West 43rd Street at 8th Avenue.