The Tallest Tree In The Forest

by Valerie Summers

Multi-talented does not begin to describe  Daniel Beaty, star of The Tallest Tree in the Forest which just opened at the Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center.  In this one-man show, Beaty artfully and believably portrays the life story Paul Robeson but embellishes the tale with more than a dozen different characters by changing voice and posture.  No gimmicks.  Just amazing acting skills and an extraordinary singing voice.  His conversations with his wife, President Harry Truman, several Jewish friends with heavy accents, J. Edgar Hoover and others all take place with just Beaty on stage.

This is the true story of  another multi-talented man, Paul Robeson, who fought for justice not only for black Americans but for the forgotten people of other nations.  The son of a former slave, he graduated from Columbia law school,  was a member of Phi Betta Kappa, played professional football and had a singing voice like an angel.  He paid the price for his beliefs.

Daniel Beaty, another multi-talented man, is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and motivational speaker He holds a BA with honors in English and Music from Yale University and has worked internationally speaking and performing.

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