Anna Deavere Smith’s show Let Me Down Easy comes to Los Angeles

Jul 19, 2011

Actress Anna Deavere Smith is perhaps best known for her starring role on Showtime's "Nurse Jackie." Or for playing the national security advisor on NBC's "The West Wing." Movie buffs will recognize Smith from films like Rachel Getting Married, RENT, and The American President. But theater lovers mostly know her as an award-winning playwright and pioneer of documentary-style theater. Smith interviews hundreds of people to create solo shows where she plays the people she's interviewed. L.A. audiences might remember Smith's now famous take on the 1992 Los Angeles riots where she interviewed and played everyone from Reginald Denny, the Reverend Al Sharpton and even L.A.'s former police chief Daryl Gates. That show, which was called "Twilight," helped Smith win a MacArthur Foundation Genius award. Now, Smith steps back on stage at the Broad in Santa Monica this week as part of a sold-out national tour for her new show "Let Me Down Easy." Smith interviewed over three hundred people on 3 continents to pick the 20 characters she plays in the show–including cyclist Lance Armstrong, supermodel Lauren Hutton and former Texas governor Ann Richards. The stories explore the resilience of the human body, our beliefs about dying and the debate over healthcare in the US. Smith joins Larry in-studio to talk about her new show and multi-faceted career.

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