Red Velvet (review)

Red Velvet (review)
Red Velvet (review)
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THE PLAY: Ira Aldridge was considered one of Europe’s greatest Shakespearean actors in the 1800s. When he was brought to London to play Othello, it sparked controversy since he was the first black actor to play the role.

 

THE PRODUCTION: With his depiction of Aldridge, Jamar Jones has taken his acting accomplishments to the next level. His assured presence and commanding resonance create a fitting fulcrum for what transpires. The rest of the cast is uniformly first-rate with Rachel Dilliplane showing remarkable versatility in 3 roles. The play itself has issues. Among them: the extended German in the opening and the concluding encounters take too long. The scenes featuring the company sparkle, partially due to the comic additions of an effusive thespian (played by Stevie Rice) and the hilarious creation of an impetuous son (Cole Metz). Director James Ricks has skillfully encouraged nuanced character development, while expanding the focus on the central racial conflict to embrace clashing egos and other conflicts. David Melton’s set does triple duty with a brick wall to reference backstage and decorative panels to frame the other scenes. Cora Delbridge’s muted-color, period costumes are attractive. The lighting by Erin Barclay nicely complements the action, although the final confrontation is too dark. Running time: 2:15

 

THE POINT: The compelling leading performance by Jamar Jones and the rest of this excellent ensemble rise above the flawed script.

 

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

A Quill Theatre production at the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse, Dominion Energy Center thru 2/9

 

Click here to watch my video interview with Jamar.

 

Cole Metz, Frances Saxton, Rachel Dilliplane, John Cauthen, Stevie Rice, Desirée Dabney (Photos by Aaron Sutten)

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Well done Jerry! Excellent balanced review! I look forward to seeing this production before it closes!
    Thank you!

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