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Anna Deavere Smith to perform excerpts from 'Let Me Down Easy' in L.A.

February 15, 2010 |  2:27 pm


Actress-writer Anna Deavere Smith is bringing her latest solo play, "Let Me Down Easy," to Los Angeles for a one-night performance.

Smith will perform excerpts from the health-care-themed drama on Tuesday at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities near downtown L.A. The actress will also discuss what the theater project has taught her about health, health care and other issues.

The free performance will begin at 7 p.m., but reservations are required. (As of early afternoon Monday, the reservation site said that the performance is full.)

"Let Me Down Easy" opened at the Second Stage Theater in New York in October. Like many of Smith's stage dramas, the play consists of a series of monologues by different characters, all of whom are played by Smith.

The show focuses on health-care-related issues, including stories that center on a doctor in a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina, a director of a South African orphanage, and cyclist Lance Armstrong's fight against cancer.

In January, Smith performed select scenes from "Let Me Down Easy" and discussed the play at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Smith's best-known plays include "Twilight: Los Angeles" and "Fires in the Mirror." On television, she had a recurring role in NBC's "The West Wing," in which she played the national security advisor. Smith has also appeared in the movies "Rachel Getting Married," "The Human Stain" and "Philadelphia."

Here are scenes from the New York production of  "Let Me Down Easy"...

-- David Ng

Photo: Anna Deavere Smith in "Let Me Down Easy." Credit: Joan Marcus / Second Stage Theatre