THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY TO PRESENT WORLD PREMIERE OF
"I JUST WANT TO TELL SOMEBODY" BY SMOKEY STEVENS
JANUARY 6 TO 23, 2022
WHERE AND WHEN:
January 6 to 23, 2022
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave (at E. 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
$18 gen. Adm., $15 seniors & students
Box office: www.theaterforthenewcity.net, 212-254-1109
Photos are available at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NVd2P8Ki8kqj9SmV8
Critics are invited on or after January 7.
NEW YORK, October 3 -- Smokey Stevens (https://www.smokeystevens.com), one of Broadway's great song-and-dance men, has adapted his autobiographical novel, "I Just Want to Tell Somebody: The Autobiography of Ronald Smokey Stevens," into a one-man, two character theater production. The play dramatizes Stevens' lifelong battle with drugs in which he, at long last, prevailed. "Smokey" plays both himself and his nemesis, a sarcastic doppelganger called "D MAN." The play ushers us through modern moments of theater history that were Smokey's triumphs and the journey through drug usage that was nearly his undoing. Theater for the New City will present the New York premiere of the work January 6 to 23, 2022, directed by Trace Oakley.
Mr. Stevens earned a place on Broadway thanks to raw talent and his wits, becoming a featured ensemble member of such productions as "Bubbling Brown Sugar," "Inacent Black," "Dreamgirls," his own musical, “Rollin’ on the T.O.B.A.," and tours of "One Mo' Time" and "Ain't Misbehavin." His films include "The Wiz" (as one of the Crows performing with Michael Jackson), "The Cotton Club" and "Times Square." He danced with such greats as tap master Charles "Honi" Coles, Lucille Ball, Cab Calloway and Gregory Hines, to name a few. He's now Artistic Director of Capital City Readers Theatre in Washington, DC, recipient of The @NAACP 11th Annual Theater Arts Award, and a documentary filmmaker.
Stevens also co-conceived the vaudeville musical, ”Shoot Me While I'm Happy,” which ran at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. While in New York he also produced “The Sho 'Nuff Variety Revue” at The Village Gate, "The Rising Stars Cabaret" and productions at The Children's Theater of Harlem.
In an archival video clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbjJ6343Sc), you can watch Stevens performing "The Hop Scop Blues" from "Rollin' on the T.O.B.A." (1999). That production was a salute to the genius of the entertainers who toured the black vaudeville circuit known as T.O.B.A.-- Theatre Owners' Booking Association--in the 1920's and 30's. It was both a champion and a destroyer of Black Vaudeville.
A native of Washington DC, he began his professional training and career at The D.C. Black Repertory Co., where he studied and performed in repertory for six years. After these studies, he performed in “Showdown Times” on The National Black Touring Circuit.
He adapted his first published book, “I Just Want To Tell Somebody, the Autobiography of Ronald Smokey Stevens," into a one man stage production of the same title and performed a developmental version of it at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington DC in February, 2011.
He is a graduate of The Community Film Workshop of Chicago, where he produced two 16mm short films. He received a 2011 Heritage Project Grant sponsored by The DC Humanities Council for his first documentary, “Preserving Ledroit Park." For DCTV, he co-produced a documentary on The Arc, a humanitarian mall serving the community east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. His other documentaries are "America: An Immigration Nation," "Dancing Destinations: The Story of DC Hand Dance" and "Black Broadway at The Village Gate."
He recently published his second book, “The First 60 Years, The History of Afro-American Musical Theater and Entertainment 1865-1930."
Director Trace Oakley has directed more than 60 productions and has worked widely as an actor, playwright, producer and administrator in Denver (his home town), on both coasts, and in national and international tours. He has been artistic director of Denver’s famed Chicken Lips Comedy Theatre, where he also co-starred in "Murder Most Fowl," the longest running show in Denver theater history. He co-founded the Proof Doubt Closer Theatre Company in Los Angeles, which is now in its fifth year. He collaborated with Smokey Stevens on the Broadway, Off-Broadway and Los Angeles productions of "Rollin' on the T.O.B.A."
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PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE AT: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NVd2P8Ki8kqj9SmV8
Audience members must show proof of vaccination to attend this live performance.
Masks are required at all times for all audience members.
Performers will not be masked.