April 17 - May 18, 2014
By Ed Bullins Directed by Woodie King, Jr.
The New Federal Theatre, in association with the Castillo Theatre, is proud to continue its tribute to Ed Bullins, pioneer of the Black Arts Movement and one of America’s most important and influential playwrights, with The Fabulous Miss Marie, first produced in 1971 at the New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem.
The Fabulous Miss Marie is structured like a jazz improvisation, with each of the ensemble members taking a solo/monologue, that reveals the pain simmering under the party’s cheerful, suburban façade. As New York Times theatre critic Clive Barnes said at the time, "Bullins writes the way Charlie Parker played: It is all so easy and effortless. It sounds improvised, and yet it doesn't sound improvised, simply because it is the improvisation of formality."
Set during a three-day holiday party at the home of Marie Horton in the Wilshire section of Los Angles in the early 1960s, it takes place against the backdrop of the Civil Right Movement and on the eve of the Watts Rebellion. Most of the play’s middle class characters, however, are distant from those upheavals; instead they drink, flirt, quarrel and reminisce as they hope their lives in the emerging Black middle class can shield them against the painful legacy of slavery and racism in America.
Read the review by Hilton Als in The New Yorker
Note: There will be no performances on Saturday May 10 and no matinee performance on Saturday May 17. On Sunday, May 18th the performance time is 4:00 PM.