Back in 2002, I saw a local actor, barely out of his teens, in a production of “A Clockwork Orange” and heralded him as an important, emerging talent. A few months later, I’m proud to say, I wrote the first lengthy profile of him when he appeared at WaterTower Theatre in “The Laramie Project.” His name is Brian J. Smith, and my predictions proved correct. He went from the excellent theater program at Collin County Community College to attend Juilliard, then went on to star in the gay indie film “Hate Crime” (as the victim of a gay bashing).But his real breakthrough came this week when he opened on Broadway in the Manhattan Theater Club’s revival of “Come Back, Little Sheba,” opposite “Law & Order” star S. Epatha Merkerson. The show itself is getting mixed reviews, but Brian’s notices have been very positive. And everyone who saw him in one of his Dallas shows gets to say, “I knew him when.” Congrats Brian on the role, the reviews… and the abs!
â€” Arnold Wayne Jones