“In response to the national crisis in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (Brunswick, GA), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), and most recently George Floyd (Minneapolis, MI) THIRTEEN’s Great Performances resumes free streaming of Marc Levin’s film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith’s play “Twilight: Los Angeles.”
“Twilight: Los Angeles” was filmed as one of PBS Great Performances in 2000, after its Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award win. Smith wrote Twilight: Los Angeles after a series of 300 interviews revolving around the topic of the Rodney King trial. In the filmed adaptation we watch Anna seamlessly transition from playing LAPD chief Daryl Gates to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Yes, Auntie Maxine!) and so many more beautifully played people. Anna’s works are not only seen amongst the best when it comes to one person shows, but revolutionized what we know today to be “verbatim theatre”.
Twilight: Los Angeles is the successor of the recently revived play, Fires in the Mirror. Fires in the Mirror, which starred Michael Benjamin Washington, is based around the Crown Heights Riot of 1991. Twilight first opened on Broadway in the spring of 1994 and ran for 72 performances.
“Twilight: Los Angeles” is currently available online for streaming at https://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/twilight-los-angeles-about-the-production/1329/
Anna Deavere Smith’s work has always been inspiring but during this period where our history seems to continue repeating itself, it makes you wonder about the art that will emerge from these times.