*EURweb’s Lee Bailey has been trying to put a microphone in playwright David E. Talbert’s face for nearly 3 months, but we just couldn’t get the duck’s lined up to make it happen.
Last weekend Lee finally tracked down the man with the master plan for “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” as the hit stage play swung through the lovely confines of the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Rave reviews, standing ovations and major high fives were the theme of the night.
“It’s part novel. part movie, part play and part sitcom,” said Talbert of the alchemy that produced his most recent work. “I wanted to mix all the things that we’ve been playing around with for the last 20 years and this is what we came up with. When people watch it they’ll feel like they’re listening to a novel, watching a movie and watching a play all in one.”
In the past we’ve had the fortune of interviewing the play’s stellar cast: from Brian White and Michelle Williams, to Ann Nesby. As with all Internet based reading material, some of those that commented responded negatively in exercising their First Amendment Rights. A commonality, as far as David E. Talbert’s work was concerned, is that it smelled of a Tyler Perry rehash. After viewing “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” we can definitively say these people have obviously never seen or read a Talbert creation. He rides that line between the darkness and the light with the precision of a laser guided weapon.
“My natural voice is teetering the line. I like innuendos, I like suspense and I like intrigue. I put them all in a gumbo and let it marinate so that every bite will be something different.
“Having Brian White, Ann Nesby. Clifton Davis and Michelle Williams,” said Talbert of his cast. “It’s like the elite in music, film and television are traveling across the country, so people are feeling like they’re getting a special slice of what they would not normally get in plays.”
In addition to a cast that most of Black America would readily recognize, Talbert sprinkled in some up and coming comedians that added to the show’s overall continuity, helping drive the play forward.
“Kim Coleman is the casting director, but we wanted to mix in new school, old school, R&B and comedians,” said Talbert. “Tiffany Haddish and Esaw McGraw may not have names now, but they’re driving the show. I met Tiffany outside the Laugh Factory. She said ‘I know you don’t know me now, but you’re going to work with me one day. If you don’t work with me then you obviously don’t like funny people. She just ragged on me for about ten minutes and when she showed up at the audition she was like ‘See, I told you I was going to work for you one day.’ She took the role, shaped it and made it her own. I love comedians that elevate the material. She certainly elevates the material, and so did Esaw McGraw. That’s why I like working with comedians.”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see what all the hype IS surrounding “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” don’t worry. David told EURweb he’s going to take it to the next level.
“We’re going to shoot this as a feature film and Brian White’s gonna star as Paul, Morris Chestnut’s going to star as her husband,” said Talbert. “This will be the first one of my plays that I’m going to convert into a film. We’re hoping to begin shooting it in January. We’re putting all the deals together now.”
“What My Husband Doesn’t Know” is playing to sold-out audiences this weekend at the Beacon Theater in New York City. For more info and other dates, visit DavidETalbert.com.