Ran into Akim Babatunde last night and quickly caught up with his news: The actor-director (last seen onstage hereabouts in Dividing the Estate at the Dallas Theater Center, left)) will spend the next month in Austria. He’s directing Black Pearl Sings! for Vienna’s English Theatre.
Babatunde directed Liz Mikel in the area premiere of Frank Huggins’ play two years ago at the Water Tower Theatre. The drama changes the story of folklorist Alan Lomax’s discovery of Leadbelly in a Texas prison into a play about two women — with a female inmate cajoled into recording old blues and spirituals. Babatunde reports Huggins saw the WTT production and liked what he saw. When the Austrians asked him to recommend a director for their production, he suggested Akim. The show opens September 10th.
And while we’re speaking of Black Pearl: Jubilee Theatre will be staging the show in Fort Worth next February.