Great Performances

Twilight: Los Angeles

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Anna Deavere Smith has been credited with inventing a new form of theater -- a provocative blend of performance, social commentary and journalism designed to encourage a national dialogue about controversial issues. For her powerful one woman/multi-voiced theater piece about the 1991 Rodney King beating, the violent aftermath of the 1992 verdict and the lasting impact of the Los Angeles riots on America's conscience, Smith interviewed hundreds of people involved in the event and its aftermath. She virtually "becomes" some 30 real life characters -- a Korean grocer, a Hollywood agent, L.A.P.D. captain Daryl Gates, a juror, even NRA spokesperson Charlton Heston. Recounting their stories verbatim, Smith assumes their voices and mannerisms with chameleon like accuracy, chronicling this complex tragedy from its many cultural perspectives. For this film adaptation of Smith's acclaimed play "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," award-winning director Marc Levin (Slam, Whiteboys) weaves Smith's virtuoso stage performance with news footage and recent interviews to create an unflinching portrait of rage, sorrow, loss and battered hope.


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