Gotham soldiers on

Fuller's 'Play' opens in New York

NEW YORK — The racial and political aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was still fresh in actor James McDaniel‘s mind at Monday’s opening night bash for Charles Fuller‘s “A Soldier’s Play” at Spanky’s BBQ.

McDaniel, who portrays Sergeant Waters in the show’s New York revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning show, said: “Returning to the play makes me understand that, although you yourself may change, the world itself hasn’t moved that much further on.”

McDaniel starred as C.J. in the 1981 production alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington.

Helmer Jo Bonney nevertheless expressed enthusiasm about the state of black theater, despite the recent death of one its preeminent voices, August Wilson.

“Obviously, there’s been a feeling of an end to an era,” said Bonney. “But over the last five years there’s been such a resurgence of talented black actors that (I think) playwrights and screenwriters are encouraged.”

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