Rhapsody in Black - Feb. 14

actor in light green shirt stands with eyes closed and hands clasped together on the side of his head

Prime Performance - Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 7:30pm

Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and directed by Estelle Parsons, this one-man show explores the actor’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. The story follows him from an underprivileged childhood in a rough working-class neighborhood, to a teenager experimenting with crime and drugs, to a scholastic achiever and ultimately to an actor with a career that lands him in situations where he is the only African American in the room. Charming and self-deprecatingly funny, Gantt imbues every word from his mouth with the passion and poignancy of a preacher speaking the gospel. A Q&A with the actor will follow the performance.

  • Purchase tickets here
  • Advance tickets: $15 general public / $10 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Day of show tickets: $20 general public / $15 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff

Artist's web site Trailer

Support provided by the University at Albany Foundation, University Auxiliary Services, Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and the Alumni Association.

Rhapsody in Black is a powerful personal narrative on the subjects of racism, identity and self-image.

Born and raised in McKeesport, PA, Gantt is a working actor based in New York City where he is a member of Actors Studio.  Credits include Two Trains Running and Radio Golf at Syracuse Stage, Walter Mosley’s world premiere of The Fall of Heaven at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Gem of the Ocean at Arena Stage, Jitney at-Pittsburgh Public Theater, In Walks Ed at Long Wharf Theater as well as many Broadway and off-Broadway productions. His film and television credits include Miracle at St. Anna, Requiem for a Dream, Malcolm X, Presumed Innocent, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, J.A.G. and HBO's The Affair.

Parsons won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1967 for her role as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde.  Nominated four times for the Tony Award, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004.  Among her most noted television roles, the late actor was Roseanne’s mother on the award-winning sitcom Roseanne.  She also played the title role in Miss Margarita’s Way and Violet Weston in August: Osage County, both on Broadway and on the national tours. Parson’s directing credits include a multi-cultural Anthony and Cleopatra, Flaubert’s Madam Bovary, Oedipus the King and Oscar Wilde’s Salome: The Reading with Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei.