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The Old Settler

In 2002, Anthony Bean rode John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs to unexpected success, winning three Big Easy Entertainment Awards including Best Drama. That production, perhaps more than any other, showed that Bean had become a major player once again in the African-American theater scene. Now he's back with another work by Redwood, the 1995 comedy-drama The Old Settler, with a script that calls for a manageable, female-driven cast in its story of two sisters. That plays well in post-Katrina New Orleans, and to Bean's fondness for bringing back some of the "Dashiki Divas," Pat McGuire Hill and Carol Sutton, along with Kenneth Brown Sr. and Amber Wilkinson. Set in World War II Harlem, The Old Settler is a bizarre love quadrangle that develops when a young man stumbles into a tense sibling rivalry between two spinster sisters when he becomes their border while looking for his South Carolina girlfriend. Redwood, who died in 2003 at age 60, was fond of the saying, "I shall pass this way only once, therefore, whatever good I can do, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again." We couldn't agree more. Tickets $16 adults, $14 students/seniors. -- David Lee Simmons

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