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Inspiring, thought-provoking and linguistically awesome, “Rhapsody in Black” follows writer/actor LeLand Gantt’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. From an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of Pennsylvania, to his career as an actor, Gantt’s performance is sure to spark conversations and leave a lasting impression. A single public performance will take place on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater. Currently there are no tickets available to this event. For the most up-to-date availability, call the Lied Center box office at 402-472-4747.

Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC’s Actors Studio by Estelle Parsons, “Rhapsody in Black” is a one man show that follows Gantt’s spellbinding life story from a childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pa., to teenage experiments with crime and drugs, to scholastic achievement and an acting career that lands adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African American in the room. How he manages to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked “The Other” is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail.

Charming and self-deprecatingly funny, Gantt confronts heavy subjects with all the passion and poignancy of a preacher speaking the Gospel. Multiple elements combine to give “Rhapsody” its super-powered emotional punch, many of them concentrated in the incredible persona of its star. The Huffington Post wrote of Gantt’s performance, “Can we rise above our prejudices with honest conversation? LeLand Gantt trumpets a resounding yes.”

Gantt first unveiled “Rhapsody in Black” at the WorkShop Theater Company’s Sundays@Six reading series in March 2013. Further development at The Actors Studio yielded a slot in their Playwrights/Directors Unit’s spring festival in May 2013 and, subsequently, a three-week workshop run.

This performance is generously sponsored by Dr. Phillip Engen and Holiday Inn.