We Honor the Life and Legacy of Langston Hughes

Mr. Hughes

“To You, Mr. Hughes” was conceived, written,and directed by Hazel Rosetta Smith in 1992, first produced and performed onstage at the request of the Africa America Institute of the United Nations, NYC, as a special presentation for the Institute’s Black History Month fundraiser.

The play was conceived to pay homage to Langston Hughes, the most prolific and popular Negro writer throughout the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance and this playwright’s most favorite artist.  Hughes was recognized as the Poet Laureate of Harlem.

The storyline begins in the upper parlor room of Langston’s brownstone on 127th Street in Harlem.  Langston has placed a call to his closest friends with an invitation to arrive at his home on a designated evening at twelve midnight, adding spice to the request, he says they must come dressed to impress.  When his devoted comrades arrive, much to their chagrin, Langston is not at home.

The  explanation for this vague invitation is left in the hands of Ivory, his musician friend, along with a mysterious box to be opened when everyone is present.


Langston is known to have a unique sense of humor, however, on this occasion, at his personal request, his longtime friends have complied and are not amused, but rather suspect they are chosen participants of what appears to be, a well-planned prank.  And so, the plot unfolds!

The script is the lifeline of the story, the songs are the juice that set the mood. Romanticizing the poetry written by Mr. Hughes haunts the heart, summons the soul and spirit to ponder the complexities and realities of being Black in America, the beautiful.His truth is marching on in the stance taken by BLACK LIVES MATTER across the nation.

Special Benefit Performances in New York City

*Africa America Institute * Community Center of Greater Harlem * Hadley Players Theatre Company * St. Philips Episcopal Church * Covenant House * B. Smith’s Rooftop Café * National Black Theatre * Harlem School of the Arts * Antioch Baptist Church * Schomburg Center for Black Research * Harlem Hospital Center Auxiliary * WAUMBA Women’s Auxiliary of the United Missionary Baptist Association * New Mount Zion Baptist Church


Songs of Romantic Interlude

Hard Hearted Hannah ~ Summertime

You Made Me Love You ~ Come Rain or Come Shine

God Bless the Child ~ Good Morning Heartache

That’s All ~ Someone to Watch Over Me

Tea for Two ~ I Can’t Give You Anything but Love

Poems from the Langston Hughes Legacy

Weary BluesPreference

The Negro SpeakLife is Fine

Harlem Night SongStill Here

My PeopleOn the Edge of Harlem

As I Grew OlderLittle Girl

WorkTo Be Somebody

Note on Commercial TheatreMother to Son

Montage of a Dream DeferredMerry Go Round

QuestionFor all the Stuff

LitanyPuzzled / Sliver

Characters: 6 Performance Time: 2 hours One Act

Actors / Character Portrayals

*as Ivory/ piano*

J. Johnson
Kevin Sibley
Lucille Gaita

*as Man #2*

Jeff Bolding
Larry Purifory
Rico Ward

*As Man #1**

Alvin Freeland
Carl Hall
James Reynolds
Tyrice Harrell
Ward Nixon

*as Woman #2*

Angela Bourelly
Juanita Fleming
Juanita Howard
Susann Miles

*as Woman #1*

Denise Morgan Spann
Ethel Calhoun
June Broxton
Louise Bethune

*as Man #3*

Gerald Latham
Leon Rogers
Lynard Williams
Maurice Lauchner
Michael Liverpool

Costumes by T.A.C., Inc.
Tuxedos Courtesy of Men’s Warehouse, NYC
Archive Photos by Gerald Peart & HSTM