By Howard Pousner
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, which begins the final week of its “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” run Tuesday at the Rialto Center for the Arts, will bring “The Mountaintop” to Atlanta as its next show.
Leon directed Katori Hall’s drama about the imagined last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett last fall. The Atlanta staging, Nov. 13-Dec. 16 at Southwest Arts Center, will be directed by frequent Leon collaborator Jasmine Guy. No cast announcements yet.
True Colors’ 2012-13 season, revealed exclusively in the AJC, also will include: August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running,” Feb. 12-March 10, 2013, at Southwest Arts Center; and “Shakin’ the Rafters,” written and directed by David Bell, July 9-Aug. 4, 2013, at 14th Street Playhouse. Tickets should go on sale in August.
While the announcement firms up True Colors’ plans, which had been delayed by a management reorganization and board fundraising, we asked Leon about New York projects to which his name has been attached.
After mounting two Broadway shows this past season, the Atlantan may return to the Great White Way to direct an adaption of “Fatal Attraction” in the fall, he said. “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” a musical featuring lyrics and music by Tupac Shakur that has been scripted by Todd Kreidler (who also adapted “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”), appears promising for a spring Broadway run, the director said.
“All this looks good but one never knows,” cautioned Leon, whose TV movie remake of “Steel Magnolias” is also due to air this fall (date TBA) on Lifetime.
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” with a cast including Phylicia Rashad and Tom Key, has drawn well: 89 percent capacity in the 837-seat Rialto, with four sell-outs. Tickets are available for the final seven performances. Information: 1-877-725-8849, www.ticketalternative.com.
Wendell Brock’s AJC review of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (Grade: A-):
A recent AJC feature on Leon’s long-time collaboration with “Guess Who’s” actress Phylicia Rashad. (Rashad plays Mary Prentice, mother of Dr. John Prentice (Tory Kittles), the idealistic black physician who is brought home by his new fiance, testing the liberalism of her upper-class white San Francisco family.):