The Whipping Man (review)

The Whipping Man (review)
The Whipping Man (review)
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THE PLAY: Set in the Richmond home of a Jewish family just after the Civil War ends, this is a troubled and volatile “reunion” between the owner’s son and two of the former slaves. The dialogue mixes theological discourse, political debate and interpersonal dynamics.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This play is grounded in local history: Hearing the names of familiar locations is cool, but the drama delves deeper with a cast that ably mines the depths. Jerold E. Solomon anchors the show, eloquently creating a character with dignity and power. Taamu Wuya’s uninhibited energy provides the show’s (sometimes comic) personality. Max Eddy, who adopts a slight Southern accent, effectively acts as the vulnerable pivot of the play. Director Debra Clinton successfully explores the emotional dynamics, while keeping the sometimes preachy aspects meaningful. Kat Conley’s expressionistic ruin of a set and B. J. Wilkinson’s dramatically evocative lighting contribute artistic power to the show’s theatricality. My only complaint: the mic cables (even though they didn’t seem to be needed) distractingly glare thru the hair of two actors.

 

THE POINT: This absorbing drama is expressive and skillfully staged with three compelling performances.

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

At Virginia Rep thru 3/8

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

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