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Rep Stage offers a '40s melodrama


Philip Yordan wrote his 1940s melodrama, Anna Lucasta, about a Polish immigrant family. But the play is best known in its African-American version, first mounted by the American Negro Theatre in Harlem in 1944 and released on film five years later.

Directed by Jennifer Nelson, this version - which helped launch the careers of Sammy Davis Jr., Eartha Kitt, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Sidney Poitier - opens the season tomorrow at Rep Stage in Columbia. The cast is headed by Deidra LaWan Starnes in the title role of a young woman whose circumstances drive her to a life as a streetwalker.

Rep Stage is the professional company in residence at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. The play runs through Oct. 13. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays; and 7 p.m. Oct. 10. Tickets are $10-$22. Call 410-772-4900.

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