BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Theater: Malcolm-Jamal Warner Stars in Stage Adaptation of “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”

Malcolm-Jamal Warner with Bethany Anne Lind. Photo by Teresa Wood

Malcolm-Jamal Warner with Bethany Anne Lind. Photo by Teresa Wood

Even after all of these years, the 1967 filmGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner” remains one of those movies that can still provoke plenty of discussion. In addition to the story about a young white girl forcing her liberal parents to confront the issue of interracial marriage head on, there are other issues such as the “perfect black man” character played by Sidney Poitier, and how that character fit into Poitier’s career.

Now, actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner has jumped into the fray, taking on the character Poitier made famous in a new stage production of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” running through Jan. 5 at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

The Root has an excellent Q&A with Warner that covers everything from Warner’s  interpretation of the role to his opinion about black celebrities and social responsibility.

guesswho'sorig

Among the best quotes from Warner in the Q&A by Helena Andrews is this one:

“There’s a real emotional arc my character, John, has in the play that you don’t see in the movie. In the play you get that. You get John’s frustration from the beginning of Act 1. They plant the seed that he’s also keeping his relationship with Joanna a secret from his parents, and what we see as the play unfolds is that no matter how much John achieves, it’s never enough for his father, and that has a profound effect on any offspring. We got to touch upon that, and you don’t really get that in the movie.”

For the full story, click on this link: http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2013/12/malcolm_jamal_warner_takes_on_sidney_poitier_role_in_guess_who_s_coming.3.html

 

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