HELLO AMERICA!—It is always one of the most exciting moments in the theater when there is an announcement of a new musical or play is bantered about. And there is just as much energy and expectation involving the production of the play with music “I Feel Sin Comin’ On” that is forcing actors, singers and dancers to practically sleep with their cell phone, just in case there’s a ring.
Singer-actress Melba Moore is the first to be signed in a key role of the show. It will mark a major return for the actress in a play with music on Broadway. She is excited about playing a mother who fights for her children to be free to express creatively who they are.
Especially during a time inAmericawhere limits are set at every turn for people of color. The powerful partnership of her mother played by one of the first ladies of the theatre, Ruby Dee will add to the theatrical combustion which will take place. Noted actor John Amos from “Good Times” is being discussed for the role of the abusive, alcoholic father who is lost in the bottle.
All the other roles are open and the Negro Ensemble Theatre Company in New York that produced such hits as “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, “Song of the Lucitanian Bogey” by Peter Weiss, “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men” by Lonnie elder and “Zooman and the Sign” by Charles fuller will, no doubt, be flooded with coast to coast calls from actors and other performers.
One of the most successful productions produced by the Theatre Company was “A Soldier’s Play,” by Charles fuller. This is a compelling story of a murder of a black army captain on a Southern Army base. It was a very popular work and won both the Critics Circle Best Play Award and the Pulitzer Prize. It was also produced as a film, “A Soldier’s Story” and nominated for three Academy Awards.
There is tremendous work being put in the preproduction of “I Feel Sin Comin’ On” based on the reputation of the NEC. Some of the best known black actors in television and film, including Louis Gossett Jr., Sherman Hemsley, Phylicia Rashad and Robert Hooks have performed for the noted theatre company.
The months ahead will no doubt be very controversial and drama-filled, especially, once these high-powered actors get together in bringing to life a story which promises to force audiences to their feet!
By Michael St. John