Speaking for the Committee to Hire Live Talent, D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy yesterday presented a plaque to "Bubbling Brown Sugar," the revue ending its 18 months of touring with two performances Sunday at the National Theater.
Fauntroy remarked: "It is a pleasure to be here at the National Theater, which has come a long way in its presentation of productions that employ talented minority performers. It's my hope that theaters, broadcast media and other outlets for talented performers will be stimulated by current National Theater scheduling that affords job opportunities for black performers."
Chairman of the committee is James E. Yancey, whose "Mr. Y's Soul Kitchen and Lounge" encourages live performers over strictly disco entertainment. "I want to see black performers live," he said.
Accepting the award for the company, star Charles "Honi" Coles recalled his National visit with Carol Channing in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," which became the second stage attraction for the house after it was closed four years during the dispute over black discrimination in its audiences. Blacks often appeared on its stage but were denied tickets to the theater before the Equity strike began in 1948.
Following "Bubbling Brown sugar" will come some top-bracket black performers - in "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf"; Melba Moore, William Marshall, Eartha Kitt and Gilbert Price in "Timbuktu"; James Earl Jones as "Paul Robeson"; Judith Jamilson and Cab Calloway in "The Only World in Town," originally titled "Ziegfield Follies" - as well as two white casts, Gene Barry in "Spotlight" and a new company of "Annie."
"The Only World in Town," "Timbuktu," "Spotlight" and one other production still to be announced will be on the National's new subscription list of four productions.