'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' at Barking Legs

'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' at Barking Legs

February 21st, 2013 by Clint Cooper in Chattnow Art

Cast members of the Creative Cultural Theatre Group production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" will include, at far left, Tiffany Bulloch (Maggie). In front, from left, are Larry Donaldson (Brick Pollitt), Earl Howze (Big Daddy Pollitt) and Machelle Booker (Big Mama). In back, from left, are Robin Flippin (Mae, Sista Woman), Darius Robinson (Gooper) and Kevin Lyle (Reverend Tooker).

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23

Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

Admission: $10

Phone: 622-7295

Website: www.barkinglegs.org

Pearl Lindsey says the characters from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" always jumped off the television screen for her, so she hoped one day to bring the drama to the stage with an all-black cast.

That day has come.

Lindsey's Creative Cultural Theatre Group will bring the Tennessee Williams drama to the stage at Barking Legs Theater on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23.

"I loved the movie -- loved it," she says, citing both the 1958 big-screen Academy Award-winning adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman and the 1976 made-for-television adaptation with Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner.

To adapt the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Lindsey says, she only had to change a few lines but kept all the drama, tension and adult language for her eight-member cast.

Lindsey says the drama, which examines the tumultuous relationships among members of Big Daddy's family in the Mississippi Delta, portrays a dysfunctional family -- "the way most families are" today.

"I like the way the father [Big Daddy] and the baby son get along," she says. "And I like the way Big Mama -- even though she's a loud-voiced woman -- tries to keep the family together."

Lindsey won't be the first to offer the production with an all-black cast but may be the first locally. Nationally, a production directed by Debbie Allen and starring James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Terrence Howard opened on Broadway in 2008. When it later moved to London, it received the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.