Kevin Spacey pays Center Stage a visit, Kwame Kwei-Armah beams (though in absentia)

  • Kevin Spacey (top row, right) and Joi Gresham, (top row, middle) at Saturday's performance of "Beneatha's Place" at Center Stage.
Kevin Spacey (top row, right) and Joi Gresham, (top row, middle)… (Photo supplied by Center…)
June 03, 2013|By Chris Kaltenbach | The Baltimore Sun

Having a big-time Hollywood star, not to mention one of the most prominent figures in live theater today, stop by to see your play is a pretty big deal. Bummer when you're not even there to enjoy the visit, though.

Kevin Spacey -- that's Kevin Spacey the two-time Oscar winner, artistic director of London's Old Vic and star of Netflix's shot-in-Baltimore series "House of Cards" -- paid a visit to Center Stage Saturday, to watch its current production of "Beneatha's Place." Also in the audience was Joi Gresham, of the Lorraine Hansberry Properties Trust. It was Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" that inspired Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah to write "Beneatha's Place."

"We don’t have any specifics about what was said by Kevin," writes Center Stage spokeswoman Heather C. Jackson, "although both he and [Gresham] were very enthusiastic about the show. They mingled and chatted with the cast for a while afterwards — and it was actually Ms. Gresham’s second time attending 'Beneatha’s Place.'"

Afterward, Spacey joined the cast for a picture -- which, not surprisingly, has found its way onto Kwei-Armah's Facebook page.

There's only one problem: Guess who's missing from the picture?

"So what happens the Saturday I'm not at the theatre? Kevin Spacey comes to see Beneatha," Kwei-Armah lamented on Facebook Sunday.

One of his Facebook pals did, however, offer some helpful advice: "You need to commission a full sized cut out for similar situations, or photo shop yourself in."

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