Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (review)

Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (review)
Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (review)
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THE PLAY: It’s Harlem in the 50s. A barbershop owner plays checkers with his old friend, while his family argues over their attempts to better themselves.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This show starts with a brisk pace that promises lively banter from the cast. However, the play proceeds with the same level of serious intent for the rest of the show. Although it’s sometimes broken up by Toney Q. Cobb’s outsize character, the cast is often acting instead of interacting, playing their emotions on the surface. Director Margarette Joyner manages to mine earnest performances from the actors, but some of the blocking is awkward and the extended climax veers into histrionics. (Historical note: I can’t find any evidence of dreadlocks and V-neck T-shirts in 50s Harlem.)  Running Time: 2:20

 

THE POINT: While the cast is earnest in their efforts, the drama is diminished by overplayed emotions in Act Two.

 

(2 / 5)

 

A Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company production at Pine Arts Cultural Arts Center thru 11/19

 

ceremonies-large

Rakeem Laws, Shalandis Wheeler Smith, Elijah Jefferson

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