Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St., presents “Rhapsody in Black,” a one-man show written and performed by LeLand Gantt, Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Gantt’s show, developed under Estelle Parsons at the Actors Studio, is a traveling production from Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Opera House.
LeLand Gantt has a long stage, TV and film resumé and has toured “Rhapsody in Black” nationally and internationally, using its “prismatic reflections on blackness” to ignite and expand conversations about race and identity. In his solo show, the audience follows his life story, from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to teenage experiments with crime and drugs to scholastic achievement and an acting career that land the adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African American in the room.
“His efforts to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked ‘The Other’ is recounted in remarkable and moving detail,” said Camden Opera House, in a news release.
“Charming, self-deprecatingly funny and linguistically gifted, Gantt offers a powerful personal narrative about racism, identity and self-image,” said the release. ‘I’m just trying to start a conversation,’ he says, and the after-show dialogue underscores just how much audiences are looking for an outlet to have that conversation.”
In addition to the evening performance, a student version will be presented to local high schoolers during the day.
“Rhapsody in Black” at the Camden Opera House is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.
Tickets are $18 advance/$22 day-of-show for adults; and $12 under 18. Choose-your-own reserved seats are available online at camdenoperahouse.com or by calling 236-3154; tickets also will be available at the door, which opens 7 p.m.