The joyous surprise of “Thought sofa Colored Man,” which opened Wednesday night on Broadway, is that it’s far more interesting than its positive, literary-sounding title suggests.
What you expect to look like a college syllabus book actually makes you laugh and tears. And in 90 minutes, the show isn’t too long or too short.
Keenan Scott II’s new play at the Golden Theater gives us what it promises, with a refreshing warmth: meditation inside a group of black men in New York.
These often friendly, sometimes combative, and always attractive men live in the Brooklyn district of gentrification.
90 minutes. At the Golden Theater, 252 W. 45th St.
In its controversial BK setting and poetic language, “Thoughts” can be encountered as a Spike Lee joint unrelated to Spike Lee. I’m glad.
The names of the men in the script are Passion (Luke James), Love (Dillon Burnside), Desire (Da Vinci), Happiness (Brian Terrell Clark), Anger (Tristan “Mac” Wild), Depression (Forest)・ McLendon) and Wisdom (Wisdom). Esau Pritchett) —Don’t worry, they don’t call it to each other — and their monikers are paired with their age. A 20-year-old man is obsessed with stringless sex, but a lost man in his mid-thirties is getting harder and harder to endure life as the bills pile up.
And that’s one of Scott’s most successful writings — his ability to be unique and at the same time universal in the street corner. Find me, 35, who has nothing to do with debt or purposelessness. (OK, please exclude Lady Gaga.)
Scott also points out that not everyone’s life experience in this pot is the same. Happiness has just moved to a great high-rise apartment with his boyfriend and he feels banished from his community because he is gay and making money.
“Why is struggle synonymous with being black?” He asks.
As depression, McLendon hits the house the hardest. The character stocks a luxury grocery aisle to support his brother, and he is forced to play a chipper for whimsical customers who can’t find kelp tea all day long.
“I’m tired of living. I’m afraid to die,” he says. pain.
McLendon is a particularly attractive actor. The last performer on Broadway in the Kander & Ebb musical “Scottsboro Boys” 10 years ago jumps from emotional extreme to emotional extreme, as if a child was trampling a puddle. In an instant, he becomes angry, shy, tickled, and terribly awkward.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is an African immigrant in his 60s who runs a block barber shop, and the magnetic prechet gives the play moral authority.
Not everything goes well with Scott’s drama. Some scenes feel like they’re being written in a hurry and aren’t completely connected to the big picture. For example, Anger is a college basketball coach and offers soliloquy and diamond-studded watches that one of the players is dissatisfied with already having an approval contract in accordance with the new NCAA rules.
Was it stripped from the headline? Yes. Has it been processed incredibly? No.
Subsequent speeches of anger about his own failed b-ball career, which is part of the crescendo to the emotional ending, are more powerful and flesh out the character better.
I sometimes wanted Steve Broadnax III’s staging, set in the shadow of a sign that shows many places, to be a little more sophisticated. The entrance and exit of the character is arbitrary, and the stage can be used more dynamically. But — what do you know? — Too many recent shows have been polished by Autur until they are obscure and textureless blobs. Many sleek, ultra-bright British imports are guilty of the crime.
It makes sense that a show about crappy, adorable people got a crappy, adorable piece.
“The Thoughts of a Colored Man” Review: Broadway Addresses Brooklyn’s Change
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