Call Mr. Robeson, Peekskill, 70 Years Later.
"God gave me the voice that people want to hear, whether in song or in speech. I shall take my voice wherever there are those who want to hear the melody of freedom or the words that might inspire hope and courage in the face of despair and fear."
Seventy years ago (1949), internationally renowned and tremendously popular singer and actor Paul Robeson made a speech at the Paris Peace Conference, in which he questioned the wisdom of African Americans fighting against the Soviet Union, where in his experience he and others like him were treated infinitely better than they were at home. The press and public reaction to his remarks was extremely hostile, to the extent that a concert he was due to give in Peekskill, upstate New York on August 28 was abandoned due to violent local opposition. He returned on September 4, and this time New York labor unions had organised a few thousand volunteers to form a protective ring around him and another around the over-20,000-strong crowd. The concert went ahead, but another large, violent riot ensued as the crowd left the park.
We mark the 70th anniversary of this seminal moment in modern American history with a return performance of Call Mr. Robeson (last seen at the Paramount in November 2015) at the Dramatic Hall on Main Street.
NOW IN ITS TWELFTH YEAR!!
Paul Robeson is a world famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.
Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.
This award-winning, roller-coaster journey through Robeson's remarkable and eventful life highlights how his radical activism caused him to be disowned and disremembered, even by the leaders and descendants of the Civil Rights movement. It features much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol' Man River.
British Nigerian actor singer and playwright Tayo Aluko revives one of the 20th Century's most impressive but overlooked figures in this powerful, compelling tour-de-force performance, which was seen at New York's Carnegie Hall in February 2012.
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TRIPLE WINNER (Imrpesario Award, Best Actor, Best Original Work) London Fringe (Ontario) June 2012 DOUBLE WINNER (Playwright,Performer), Ogeyinka Merit Awards for Excellence, London (UK), October 2010
WINNER: Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence; WINNER: Best Male Performer
BRIGHTON FESTIVAL FRINGE, MAY 2008
"First-rate ... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer" 4 Stars The Guardian
"A stunning piece of musical theatre.... high quality drama, first class singing"
Fringe Review, Edinburgh Fringe, 2010
"Excellent ... convincing ... gripping ... An inspiring production. " Broadway Baby
"Never less than utterly believable" British Theatre Guide
"An outstanding, slick production" London Free Press
"Simply told but immensely powerful" The Scotsman
"A thrilling, moving and marvellously entertaining musical drama. Totally soulful and convincing"
Latest 7 Magazine
"A must-see experience, a treasure of a show. TOP PICK!" DC Theater Scene
Dramatic Hall (View)
900 Main Street, Third Floor
Peekskill, NY 10566
|Minimum Age: 12|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|