By FREDI WASHINGTON PV's Theatrical Editor March 30, 1946 p. 22
WELL, AT LAST THE RUMORS can be put to rest to who is playing the 'Della Green' role in the Arna Bontemps-Countee Cullen musical-drama, St Louis Woman. When Edward Gross presents the show at the Martin Beck Theatre on Saturday night, March 30, Muriel Rahn will be in in the role. Miss Rahn last on Broadway in the title role of Carmen Jones, has had to cancel her April 12, Town Hall concert because of the last minute decision to join the cast of 'Woman.'
Ruby Hill, who played Della during the Boston and Philadelphia run of the show, has retired from the role according to a release sent out by the show's publicity department. Miss Hill was given dramatic and vocal coaching during rehearsals of the show by the producers.
There had been rumors that practically everyone who can sing, gave auditions for the part, but management insisted that there would be no cast changes. Therefore, the official announcement that Miss Rahn would take over the much discussed role came as a surprise. Miss Rahn's experience in the theatre, plus the very fine handling of the Bizet score in the role of 'Carmen' in Carmen Jones, will certainly speak for itself when she steps on the stage Saturday night.
St. Louis Woman, has a score by Mercer and Arlen, production staged by Rouben Mamoulian, scenery and costumes by Lanuel Ayers and dances by Charles Walters. Heading the cast besides Miss Rahn are the Nicholas Brothers, Harold playing the male lead, Pearl Bailey, Rex Ingram, June Hawkins and Juanita Hall.
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ACTORS, MUSICIANS AND ENTERTAINERS ought to realize that one publicity agent is quite enough to handle their public relations. It is confusing and a waste of money for them to have two or three agents doing the job. And while I am about it, it might be a good idea for these artists to check on the kind of phoney baloney some of these smart boys cook up about them. Some of the stuff that comes across this desk is ridiculous and has a tendency to make the artists in question seem so much like business egotists that I am embarrassed for them.
Some of these agents week in and week out will tell you that their clients are going to do this or that and of course these things never materialize and for that matter, the idea was never intended to serve any other purpose than that of getting the clients' names in the press. This is no good for the artist for many obvious reasons. Publicity is a necessary part of the entertainment field but also there is such a thing as good and bad publicity. Get hep to yourself kids and don't let these high powered press boys handle your name and activities in such a loose manner and for goodness sakes, pick out one guy to do the job, but a good one, and put a stop to duplicating and conflicting press releases.
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STARBUDS OF 1946, which presents 200 Harlem youngsters will be taken to New York City Center Theatre, by Mary Bruce, dancing instructor, Friday evening, April 5. The show will be a lavish musical revue and dance recital and is the second edition. The first was held at the Belasco Theatre last year. The children appearing in the revue are students of Miss Bruce's and range in age from four to fifteen.
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ANOTHER LITTLE THEATRE group has sprung up within our midst. This time it is the East Harlem Players who will present the Pied Piper of Hamelin with Avon Long appearing in the title role as guest artist. The play will give two performances the first Friday, March 29, at 7:45 pm, and, the second, Saturday afternoon, March 30, at 3 o'clock at the Hecksher Theatre, 104 Fifth av. The 'Players' is an experimental theatre project developed out of community agencies and schools. Among those on the Board of Directors and sponsors are Margaret Webster, Jose Ferrer, Avon Long and Abram Hill.
The People's Theatre, which is exactly what it says it is, presented its first production, Blood in The Night, last Friday night at its workshop, 203 W 115 st (Library Auditorium). The group will play each Friday night thereafter.
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IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT YOUR TICKETS for the Negro Actors Guild ninth annual ball at the Savoy Ballroom this Friday night, you had better hurry. This is the one affair of the season where you meet all of the Broadway personalities. This year, the entire casts of several hit shows will be on hand to greet you. Lucky Millinder and his large, mixed band will provide the dance music.
Proceeds, as usual, go to the operating fund of the Guild's welfare activities. Don't think because the theatre is in a boom stage, there are not still aged and indigent actors, entertainers and musicians to be cared for. Come out and help those actors and laymen who have dedicated themselves to the cause of their needy brethren. Will see you there.