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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Alfonso Freeman to Star in STL Shakespeare's Othello

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 2:47 PM

St. Louis Shakespeare — that's the one that's been around since 1984 and mounts its shows at the Grandel Theater, not the newer company that puts on its plays in Forest Park — has announced that Alfonso Freeman will perform the title role in its production of Othello, which will run from Friday, July 20, through Sunday, July 29.

Freeman, the 47-year-old son of Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, has appeared onstage in roles both musical (Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha) and dramatic (I'm Not Rappaport, The Boys Next Door, Zoo Story). He's also done guest turns on such TV shows as The West Wing, ER, Providence and The Practice, and he's been cast in several feature motion pictures in which his father also appeared, including The Shawshank Redemption and Se7en .

SLS's director of public relations and marketing, William Roth, met both Freemans at Madidi (the elder Freeman's restaurant in Clarksdale, Mississippi), where he was celebrating New Year's Eve. Conversations with Alfonso there and later at Ground Zero, a blues club that Morgan Freeman also co-owns, led to St. Louis Shakespeare offering the role to Alfonso.

St. Louis Shakespeare founder and artistic director Donna Northcott, who will be directing this production, says, "It's a wonderful opportunity for company members to work with a professional of his caliber, and it says a lot about Mr. Freeman as an actor that he's willing to take six weeks out of his schedule for the opportunity to play this incredibly challenging role. I think this is going to be a very gripping production and am really looking forward to starting rehearsals."

- Tom Carlson

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