CHOIR BOY tonight
Last Edit: singleticket 12:04 am EST 01/12/19
Posted by: singleticket 11:57 pm EST 01/11/19

A play about inchoate emotions that are expressed through song. On one level, that's all the play needs to be about and Tarell Alvin McCraney's play succeeds admirably in making believable the tamped down longings of young men and how messy it can get when those longings break through to the surface. McCraney is helped by some fine actors, particulary Jeremy Pope, a young actor in complete command of characterization, voice and movement who gets the audience to care about him from the beginning. It's always a pleasure to see Austin Pendleton who gives a performance of a character, not completely drawn in by the playwright, in a series of brilliant quick strokes. Also impressive was the school bully of the piece, J. Quinton Johnson. The play is helped but also hindered by Trip Cullman's propulsive direction which focuses on character detail and gives each of the main actors a kind of spotlight to work in. What's missing from Cullman's direction is also what's missing from McCraney's play which is a stronger decision on whether what we are seeing is a collection of portraits loosely connected by dramatic and emotional situations or an allegory of a society of black men in microcosm. At times it seem as if the play is one and then it abrubtly shifts to the other and at the end it seems to have decided on neither. Still, this is an emotional and rather heartbreaking evening.

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