Blair Underwood has played the president of the United States, Stanley in a Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and, of course, attorney Jonathan Rollins on "L.A. Law," a practitioner so skilled that he was said to inspire Barack Obama during his days at Harvard Law School.
The accomplished actor will be joining us in the studio on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PDT to talk about any and all of that as well as his work opposite Cicely Tyson in the recent Lifetime remake of "A Trip to Bountiful."
"Bountiful" follows Carrie, an elderly woman (Tyson) determined to visit her tiny Southern hometown one last time. Underwood plays her loving son, and Vanessa Williams is on board as Carrie's daughter-in-law, who's not nearly as understanding.
"Bountiful," written by Horton Foote, premiered as a teleplay on NBC in 1953 and was produced on Broadway the following year. It was later adapted as a film, winning Geraldine Page an Oscar in 1986. A 2013 Broadway revival was equally successful, winning Tyson a Tony Award.
Times television critic Mary McNamara praised the Lifetime adaptation of "Bountiful," calling it "an exquisitely rendered and masterfully acted film" and lauding the work of the entire cast.
Noting the differences between Page and Tyson, McNamara said the character was now quieter, "more rooted in patience, but no less determined and certainly no less powerful. Tyson's voice is soft but precise, carrying the cadence of Foote's lushly simple dialogue forward in a way that undulates, like a field of ripe wheat, all the way to the horizon."
Underwood, Tyson and Williams will reprise their small-screen roles when "Bountiful" plays locally at the Ahmanson Theatre from Sept. 17 to Nov. 2. Underwood will also be playing the lead in "Othello" at the Old Globe in San Diego from June 22 to July 27.