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Familiar actors from TV and stage cast in 'Radio Golf'

February 08, 2011

Patrick Finlon
(315) 443-2636

Familiar, nationally-acclaimed actors from TV and stage have arrived in Syracuse, where they are rehearsing August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” running Feb. 23-March 13 at Syracuse Stage.

TV’s Richard Brooks, best known for his starring role as Paul Robinette on NBC’s “Law & Order,” will perform the role of Harmond Wilks, a real estate developer striving to revitalize a neighborhood and become the first African American mayor of Pittsburgh. Brooks originated the role in the world premiere of “Radio Golf” at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Joining Brooks is Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Tony-nominated for his Broadway performance as Toledo in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a role he reprised at Syracuse Stage in 2008. Byrd will portray the role of Elder Joseph Barlow, who refuses to have his historic home torn down to make way for a new condominium.

Crystal Fox, last seen at Syracuse Stage in “Crowns” (2009), plays the role of Mame, Harmond Wilks’ wife and campaign manager, a successful public relations expert.

Leland Gantt, last seen at Syracuse Stage in “Death and the King’s Horseman” (1999), will portray the role of Sterling, a self-employed contractor and neighborhood handyman who refuses to stop painting Elder Joseph Barlow’s historic home.

Completing the five-member cast is G. Valmont Thomas as Roosevelt Hicks, Harmond Wilks’ longtime friend and business partner, vice president of a bank and avid golfer. Thomas has appeared in a number of productions of Wilson’s work during his 12 years as a member of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

A powerful and timely drama from the most celebrated American playwright of this generation, “Radio Golf” tells the story of a man who is forced to weigh the importance of family, legacy, heritage and history against the truth of his political and class ambitions. Moving, funny, lyrical and rousing, “Radio Golf” is the inspiring final play of Wilson’s monumental, 10-play 20th Century Cycle and career.

The production is directed by Syracuse Stage’s Producing Artistic Director Timothy Bond. Tickets for Radio Golf range $25-$48, available at (315) 443-3275 or

The presenting sponsor for “Radio Golf” is The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation. “Radio Golf” is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Media Sponsors are Urban CNY and WAER 88.3. Syracuse Stage Season Sponsors are The Post-Standard and Time Warner Cable.

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