'Juan and John,' 'Neighbors' kick off slate
Plays by Roger Guenveur Smith and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins will world preem as part of the Public LAB season at Off Broadway’s Public Theater.Running Dec. 1-20, the slate kicks off with “Juan and John,” the new play written and performed by Guenveur (“A Huey P. Newton Story”). Marc Anthony Thompson provides sound and video for the show, revolving around the 1965 baseball faceoff of the San Francisco Giants and the L.A. Dodgers. Second offering is “Neighbors” by Jacobs-Jenkins, a member of the Public’s Emerging Writers Group. Play centers on a man who is unhappy about the new residents in his neighborhood, a family of black actors. Niegel Smith helms the show, which runs Feb. 16-March 7. The Public’s LAB series, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, puts on smaller-scale productions of new work with tickets sold for $10 each. Initiative has previously presented “The Good Negro” by Tracey Scott Wilson and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” by Michael Friedman and Alax Timbers.