*Obie Award winner Daniel Beaty opens this weekend at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, as a special presentation of the Center Theatre Group in The Tallest Tree In The Forest, a play with music written and performed by Daniel Beaty.
The Tallest Tree In The Forest is a biographical journey into the life and times of Paul Robeson, the son of a former slave who emerged to be an all American football star at Rutgers and Columbia Law School in the early 1900’s. Robeson’s athleticism was matched by academic excellence, as he was valedictorian while at Rutgers. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and he was an outspoken political and civil rights activist. His views cost him great agony, especially in the era of McCarthyism the United States.
Still as a performer Paul Robeson was renown on the world stage as an actor and a vocalist whose pivotal roles and portrayals included Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun’s Got Wings, The Emperor Jones, Showboat, and Othello; in which he became the first African American on Broadway to star in a production with an all white supporting cast.
Daniel Beaty resurrects Robeson’s intriguing life with song, finesse, depth and humor. Much like the late Paul Robeson, Beaty’s success is intertwined with pain beneath the surface. Beaty is an Honor graduate from Yale with a B. A. in Music and English. He also earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. He did this while overcoming obstacles from being the child of drug addicted parents, one of whom was incarcerated. The buzz around Beaty as an actor, writer and performer stems from the sincere electricity that he emits on stage, engaging the audience and drawing them in to the ultimate theatrical experience.
The Tallest Tree In The Forest is directed by Moses Kaufman and plays from April 12, 2014 to May 25, 2014 at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012. For information on tickets and discounts to The Tallest Tree In The Forest go to http://www.centertheatregroup.org/spring