Actress to take over lead role
Single-monikered thesp Portia will take over the lead role in the Manhattan Theater Club production of “Ruined,” replacing Saidah Arrika Ekulona, who departs May 17.Ekulona recently picked up a Lucille Lortel award for her perf as Mama Nadi, the savvy businesswoman caught in the midst of the civil war in the Congo. She leaves the extended run of the Pulitzer-winning play to appear in an upcoming Vienna production of “Othello,” directed by Peter Sellars and starring John Ortiz and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Portia, whose legit credits include Gotham stagings of “Zooman and the Sign,” “The Treatment” and “Our Lady of 121st Street,” steps in to the role May 26. For the week of May 18, Ekulona’s standby, Victoire Charles, will play Mama Nadi. “Ruined” is currently set to run through June 28.