With the recent passing of Rodney King and in the 20th anniversary year of the Los Angeles riots, Great Performances brings Smith's dramatic work back to public television viewers across America when it presents an encore presentation of Marc Levin's film adaptation of Twilight: Los Angeles, Friday, June 29 at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings). The telecast follows the season premiere of the PBS Arts Summer Festival also hosted by Smith.
There will be another presentation Friday, August 24 at 9 p.m. ET. (Twilight: Los Angeles originally aired on PBS in 2001.)
In a film adaptation that interweaves Smith's virtuoso performance with documentary interviews and footage of then contemporary Los Angeles, award-winning director Marc Levin (Slam, Whiteboys, Thug Life in DC, Brick City, Street Time) deftly transforms Smith's work from stage to screen.
Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles played around the U.S. and on Broadway. It received two Tony nominations, an Obie, Drama Desk Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle's Special Citation and numerous other honors.
Developed for film and television and executive produced by Cherie Fortis (Fires in the Mirror, The Colored Museum) with cinematographer Maryse Alberti (Happiness, Velvet Goldmine) and Tony Award winning production designer Richard Hoover (Dead Man Walking), Twilight: Los Angeles explores the lasting impact of the riots on our national conscience.Her play Fires in the Mirror examined the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn (1991), when racial tensionsbetween black and Jewish neighbors exploded. It received an Obie Award, numerous other awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She performed the play around the U.S., in London and in Australia. The film version was also broadcast on PBS.
Anna Deavere Smith's latest production, Let Me Down Easy aired on THIRTEEN's Great Performances this past January. Conceived, written and performed by Smith, the play examined the miracle of human resilience through the lens of our current national debate on health care.
Great Performances is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. For 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.
Twilight: Los Angeles is a production of Anna Deavere Smith in association with Offline Entertainment and THIRTEEN for WNET. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer. Major funding for the original telecast was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Starbucks Coffee Company, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Dorothy and Lewis Cullman, The Starr Foundation, the Miriam and Peter Haas Fund, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS. The encore telecast on Great Performances is supported by the Irene Diamond Fund.
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.