According to Black Star News, Nicole Ari Parker will star opposite Blair Underwood in the upcoming Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Emily Mann. Parker will play Blanche Du Bois in the production, which is set to open in the spring of 2012.
Early in her career she appeared in several critically acclaimed independent films including The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, Boogie Nights, 200 Cigarettes, and the 1999 Sundance Film Festival winner The Adventures of Sebastian Cole. Parker also had a guest appearance on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a singer. She played the role of Stephanie in the movie Divas, alongside Khalil Kain. She also had a lead role in the 1998 film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie. She worked alongside Martin Lawrence in two of his films: Blue Streak and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.
Set against the backdrop of New Orleans' gritty French Quarter, Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning drama, A Streetcar Named Desire tells the tale of former school teacher and socialite Blanche DuBois, as she's forced to move in with her sister Stella and her animalistic husband Stanley (Blair Underwood). But the fragile, Blanche quickly gets a gritty life lesson in the seamy, steamy underbelly of 1940's New Orleans.
Streetcar was last seen on Broadway in 2005 starring Natasha Richardson, Amy Ryan and John C, Reilly. Front Row Production's multi-racial production of A Streetcar Named Desire is a follow-up to their highly successful Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which starred Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and James Earl Jones and was directed by Debbie Allen. The production subsequently moved to London's West End (with Jones and Rashad joined by Sanaa Lathan as Maggie, and Adrian Lester as Brick) where it was honored with the "What's Onstage" and the prestigious "Olivier" awards for Best Revival.
Emily Mann (Director) Multi-awarding winning director and playwright, Emily Mann is celebrating her 20th season as Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre, where she has overseen over 90 productions. Under Ms. Mann's leadership, McCarter was honored with the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Some of her directing credits include Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics with Jimmy Smits (also on Broadway); the world premiere of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon with Kristine Nielsen (also off-Broadway); Uncle Vanya with Amanda Plummer (also adapted); All Over with RoseMary Harris and Michael Learned (also off-Broadway; 2003 Obie Award for Directing); The Cherry Orchard with Jane Alexander, John Glover, and Avery Brooks (also adapted); Three Sisters with Frances McDormand, Linda Hunt, and Mary Stuart Masterson; A Doll House with Cynthia Nixon; The Glass Menagerie with Shirley Knight; the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's The Bells; The Tempest with Blair Brown; Romeo and Juliet with Sarah Drew and Jeffrey Carlson; I.B. Singer's Meshugah with Elizabeth Marvel(also adapted); the American premiere of The Mai by Marina Carr; the world premiere of Anna Deveare Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (also at the Mark Taper Forum); Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba (also adapted) with Helen Carey; the world premiere of Joyce Carol Oates' The Perfectionist; Strindberg's Miss Julie with Kim Cattrall, Donna Murphy, and Peter Francis James (also adapted); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Pat Hingle and JoBeth Williams; and Betsey Brown (co-author with Baikida Carroll and Ntozake Shange). Her plays include the multi-award-winning Execution of Justice; Still Life (six Obie Awards); Greensboro (A Requiem); and Annulla, An Autobiography. Ms. Mann wrote and directed Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, at McCarter and on Broadway (3 Tony nominations including Best Play and Best Direction; Drama Desk nomination; Joseph Jefferson and NAACP Awards; Peabody and Christopher Awards for her screenplay). A winner of the Dramatists' Guild Hull-Warriner Award, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its Council. A collection of her plays, Testimonies: Four Plays, has been published by Theatre Communications Group, Inc. Her latest play, Mrs. Packard, was the recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and was published by TCG in spring 2009. Most recently, Ms. Mann directed her latest adaptation, A Seagull in the Hamptons, a free adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, with Brian Murray and Maria Tucci; Mrs. Warren's Profession, with Suzanne Bertish; and the world premiere of Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I, due to appear on Broadway this season. In 2002, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.