West Coast Florida
Montae Russell plays Justice Marshall with great dignity. One of the highest compliments that I can pay him is that I could understand every word of the script, so clearly and mellifluously was it presented. Occasionally he is called upon to briefly portray someone else who was part of Marshall's life, such as law professor and mentor Charles Hamilton Houston, but it is not an important facet of this performance. Mr. Russell captures the inner conviction of this great man. He reaches the end of the play standing center stage looking away from the audience, then turns, briefly, to give one bow and exits. This is Montae Russell's second production as Thurgood Marshall, having played the role earlier at Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Kate Alexander as director has helped Mr. Russell shape his fine performance. All the other technical aspects of the production are effective. The slides used to show us people and places in the story get the job done.
Sarasota audiences will want to see Thurgood because of the outstanding performance by Montae Russell in the title role.
Florida Studio Theatre presents Thurgood through February 16, 2014, at the Keating Theater 1241 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. For tickets and performance information, please call the box office at (941) 366-9000 or visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org.
Directed by Kate Alexander