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'Streetcar' cast talks upcoming Broadway production

LINDA ARMSTRONG Special to the AmNews | 3/2/2012, 3:59 p.m.

Parker feels that her character is a perfect fit for an African-American actress. "Tennessee Williams writes about characters who endure. He likes characters who push through the cement like a blade of grass. And our people, in the history of this country, have endured, from the beginning to now. So in the fiber of our being, we are made for Tennessee Williams' material."

Harris, who plays Mitch, is also making his Broadway debut. "It's still surreal. You're here on the first day of rehearsal and it's just exciting. It's a reinvigorating moment for me," he explained.

"Mitch is innocent, a purer form of Stanley in a way. He seems like the opposite because of that. I think he should still encompass the sexuality of a Stanley.

"It's a piece of history in a way. I hope the play is a fast ride for the audience. I want people to be immersed in what we're doing. I want the audience to experience the arc of what the characters go through. Tennessee Williams on Broadway, it doesn't get better than this. It's Tennessee Williams and it's Black."

Rubin-Vega will portray Stella. "Approaching any role, there are always challenges to explore. The challenge is to make the most with what the words are on that page. They are so full of possibility, particularly, with a cast of color. The relevance is not compromised, it's broadened. It's more relevant when you throw the powder keg of race in with politics of sex and class," explained the actress, who has quite a few Broadway shows under her belt.

Rubin-Vega is hopeful that productions like "Fela!" "The Mountaintop," "Stick Fly," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" have given Black audiences more of an opportunity to see themselves on Broadway. "To take an American classic, a masterpiece, and make it completely, unapologetically relevant to folks is clear.

"I want the audience to come away feeling represented, identifying, completely being impacted by the brutality of this piece. This is a brutally human American tragedy and I want people to be moved. I would love to see people of color feeling like they completely belong in the lexicon of American theater," she added.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.streetcaronbroadway.com.