Tuesday, August 29, 2006

James Blood Ulmer and the Memphis blues Band featuring Vernon Reid

Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson will be joined by a number of fellow actors, as well as musicians, for the performance event "August Wilson and the Blues," which will be held at Battery Park's Castle Clinton National Monument on Saturday, September 9th at 7 PM. The show, which will be directed by Santiago-Hudson, is free.

Joining the actor, who is currently directing Signature Theatre Company's production of Wilson's Seven Guitars, will be actors Rosalyn Coleman, Ebony Jo-Ann, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Bill Sims Jr., and Keith Randolph Smith, as well as musicians James "Blood" Ulmer and the Memphis Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid. The cast will perform excerpts from Seven Guitars and other Wilson works.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, who passed away last October, is known for his ten-play chronicle of the African-American experience in the twentieth century; the cycle also includes such plays as Fences, The Piano Lesson and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Signature will also present Two Trains Running (starting in November) and King Hedley II (starting in February) as part of its Wilson celebration season.

Seven Guitars, with original music by Sims, stars Kevin Carroll, Cassandra Freeman, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Brenda Pressley, Lance Reddick, Roslyn Ruff, and Charles Weldon.

"August Wilson and the Blues" will be presented both as part of Signature's Wilson celebration and the River to River Festival.

Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award for his performance in the original Broadway production of Seven Guitars. Other New York appearances include Gem of the Ocean, Jelly's Last Jam, and the one man-show Lackawanna Blues (he also appeared in the film version). Other films include The Devil's Advocate and Shaft, and he has appeared on "Law and Order" and "The West Wing."

Visit www.signaturetheatre.org or call 212-244-PLAY for more information.

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