New Play About Baldwin-LA Weekly Pick of Week-Pacifica Benefit Sun 1/12
- PacificaRadio Archives
The Pacifica Radio Archives Invites you to a
Benefit Performance of
DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP
A New One Man Play Written & Performed By
Tony Award Nominated Actor
Making his Los Angeles Theater Debut
*Levels intense stage presence beguiles*
Pick of the Week - LA Weekly 1/3-1/9
Fundraiser Aims to Help Stem Deterioration Of
Rare Recordings, Including the Voices of Malcolm X,
Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Langston Hughes
Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin
LOS ANGELES (January 5)- - Pacifica Radio Archives is holding a special
event-- a benefit performance of JAMES BALDWIN DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP, a
newone-man play written and performed by Tony award-nominated actor Calvin
Levels,depicting the rich, impassioned life of the great novelist,
playwright,essayist and civil rights activist.
The fundraiser will be held Sunday, January 12, 2003, with performances at 2
PMand 6 PM with a VIP reception from 4-6 PM at the 4305 Village Theatre at
4305Degnan Blvd. in the legendary cultural center of Leimert Park Village
(nearCrenshaw and 43rd Street).
The VIP Honorary Host Committee includes: Ed Asner, Ben Caldwell, EsoWon
Books,Danny Glover, Dexter Scott King, Martin Landau, David Moses, CCH
Pounder, MarkRydell, Susan Sarandon, Tavis Smiley, Paul Alan Smith, Rep.
Maxine Waters,Howard Zinn & Michael Zinzun.
JAMES BALDWIN DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP is directed by ART EVANS and
producedby Theatre Dreams in association with Ron Richards Production.
To order tax-deductible tickets call: (818) 506-1077 ext. 264. TICKET PRICES:
2PM show -$50.00 and 6 PM show - $75.00 each. Ticket prices include a
VIPreception 4 PM-6PM.
Proceeds will benefit the Save Pacifica Radio Archives Project, KAOS
NetworkYouth Programs & Momma Di's Kitchen for the Homeless.
THE PACIFICA RADIO ARCHIVES is working to save more than 47,000 historic
tapesthat span half a century of radio programming. Considered by many
historiansand scholars to be one of the most important audio collections in
the world,thousands of tapes in the Los Angeles-based Pacifica Radio Archives
are indanger of permanent damage caused by aging. Internationally recognized
soundpreservation experts have advised Pacifica to conduct an immediate
review ofthe endangered tapes and to transfer them to new mediums, such as
The archives house rare recordings of internationally known writers,
politicalactivists, religious leaders and entertainers such as Rev. Martin
Luther King,Jr., Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Fannie Lou
Hamer, PaulRobeson, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Rachel Carson, Lenny Bruce
and ofcourse James Baldwin.
*It's a recorded history of the 1st Amendment,* said J. Brian DeShazor,
thePacifica archives manager. *Every American should understand it and
appreciateit and help fund it. It is our collective history.* (Los Angeles
Times November18, 2002)
Founded in 1949 by World War II conscientious objector Lewis Hill,
PacificaRadio was created as the irst non-commercial, listener-sponsored
radio stationin the United States. The Pacifica Radio Archives was
established in 1971 tohouse the audio-tape collection gathered from Pacifica
Radio stations,KPFK-90.7 FM here in Los Angeles, KPFA-94.1 FM in Berkeley,
WBAI-99.5 FM in NewYork, KPFT-90.1 FM in Houston, and WPFW-89.3 FM in
JAMES BALDWIN DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP traces the turbulent life of
theAmerican writer recognized for his novels on sexual and personal
identity,along with plays and sharp essays on the civil rights struggle.
Baldwinreturns from the ethereal realm and embodies a playwright-performer on
thebrink of failing miserably before an opening night Broadway audience.
Baldwin, intent on setting the record straight, directly addresses the
audienceas he recounts various topics about his life.
They include his early childhood growing up in Harlem as a prodigious reader
and fiery young minister; to his first sexual experiences and love affairs;
to forming and destroying a relationship with his idol Richard Wright, author
of Native Son; leaving America and moving to Paris; publishing his works,
including his first novel Go Tell It On The Mountain; friendship and
rivalrieswith the likes of Marlon Brando, Loraine Hansberry, Truman Capote,
NormanMailer, William Faulkner, Langton Hughes and many others; his sour
relationshipwith the Actors Studio; his association with Dr. Martin Luther
King , MedgarEvers, Malcolm X and the civil rights movement; up until his
death at his home in the South of France. Baldwin, finally summoned back to
the mountaintop, leaves the performer imbued with a passion that will change
his life forever.
Calvin Levels portrays the performer-playwright and James Baldwin.This is
Mr.Levels Los Angeles theatre debut. In New York he has appeared in OPEN
ADMISSIONS the one-act at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, David Mamet’s THE
SHAWL at Lincoln Center Theatre and OPEN ADMISSIONS at the Music Box Theatre
on Broadway for which he received The Theatre World Award for Outstanding New
Talent, and nominations for The Tony Award, New York Drama Desk Award and
NewYork Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a Play. He has also
appeared in numerous feature films television movies and series.
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