TARELL ALVIN MCCRANEY’S REMARKABLE ‘THE BROTHERS SIZE’ OPENS THEATRE RHINO’S 39TH SEASON.
A CELEBRATION OF STRENGTH OF AND DISCOVERY THE BROTHERS ARE A NEW AMERICAN THEATRE, AND A MUST SEE.
Theatre Rhinoceros opens their 39th Season with the emotional THE BROTHERS SIZE through Oct 15th at the Eureka Theatre. This stunning new play was first produced as a trilogy called Brothers/Sisters, at both the Magic Theatre and American Conservatory Theatre. It is an authentic mix of movement, music and emotion that explores the limits of friendship and love. Directed by Darryl V. Jones, he joins three compelling actors to examine a music-filled drama from one of the country's most exciting African-American voices. Author Tarell Alvin McCraney's well received “Brother/Sister Plays” trilogy stands alone, you don’t need to have seen In the Red and Brown Water or Marcus or the Secret of Sweet to be impressed by the hot blooded THE BROTHERS SIZE. McCraney’s stunning play combines a West African Yoruba spirit folklore with black oppression and a gritty contemporary dialogue that is set in the Louisiana Bayou.
McCraney's keen style of storytelling takes stage as a metaphor of rap voice and slamm, yet tells a compelling story of brothers struggling with love and the American dream. McCraney says “I began taking old stories from the canon of the Yoruba and splicing them, placing them down in a mythological housing project in the South,- The ritual onstage is taking these very old stories, archetypes, myths, and even rumors, and playing them out with new voices, new bodies, set in new and present times.” The Yoruba theory believes that people live the subtext of their names.
LaKeidrick Wimberly as Ogun, Gabriel Christian as Oshoosi, and Julian Green as Elegba in Tarrel Alvin McCraney's THE BROTHERS SIZE, directed by Darryl V. Jones ; A Theatre Rhinoceros Production at the Eureka Theatre; photo by Steven Ho.
McCraney infuses his work with folklore from Yoruba, located in southwestern Nigeria, which made its way to the southern states of the U.S. The three characters include Big brother Ogun, named after the Yoruba Orisha the meaning for iron and metallurgy. He is played by LaKeidrick S. Wimberly; Ogun is a hot headed mechanic who runs an auto shop. Wimberly is buffed and the symbol of strength, and plays the part with passion. His younger brother, a prison parole, is Oshoosi, the hunter and is related to the jail, justice and the persecuted. The commanding, Gabriel Christian, embodies his character as he strives for the American dream. His friend he met while in prison, Elegba, played by the vibrant Julian Green, is the struggle between the brothers and he is sexy, and emotional in the role, and brings out the fear in the two brothers.
Oshoosi seeks a new start to his life. Working in the auto shop for his brother Ogun was not what he had in mind. Ogun senses that as he watches his brother fall into a seduction of sexuality that sets him free. When Elegba drops in offering a different direction, Oshoosi finds himself torn between his brother, his loyalties and his dreams. It’s an compelling theatrical drama that weaves together the haunting rhythms of the bayou with African Yoruba mythology. McCraney's script works so well with the rhyme dialogue with its poetic underpinnings and mythological symbolism. The believable characters are filled with pathos and complexity. THE BROTHERS SIZE is one of those gems of contemporary theatre that brings a new wing to the craft of the stage.
Director Jones allows us to see the natural love, loyalty and regret play out without any distractions or self-consciousness. The story makes perfect sense without appearing weak against the way the characters make their entrances and exits, their smiles and reactions noted in stage directions. Jones directs with a masterful sensitivity and adds to the rising emotion of McCraney's drama without overstepping. The story is revealed and supported by his graceful way of introducing the script and allowing it to flourish. The three actors Wimberly, Christian, and Green are each unforgettable and equally dynamic in their roles, it is difficult at times to say whose story this really is. Is it Ogun, the elder trying to protect his little brother, yet his journey has a fascinating arc revealed in a well executed monologue.
Laura Elaine Ellis has choreographed some elegant dance moves to the music that Jones has designed. Jones keeps his three talents singing or rhyming in some sharp emotions. The set designed by Margaret Adair McCormack was gritty and full of graffiti and a feeling of the Bayou. Highlighted by Wesley Rou’s moody lighting, the stage has depth and character. Daniel Banatao’s sound design is important to the dance and movement in the 100 minute one act. The three are dressed in simple authentic clothes designed by Kitty Muntzel that show off their bodies and their amazing acting.
This is a perfect example of what theater can invoke and inspire when everything is so well written and brilliant. Flights of poetry, music, dance and West African mythology explore the need to belong somewhere, to something, or to someone. These brothers are must see, and Tarell Alvin McCraney is truly one of our new powerful millennial playwrights. Theatre Rhinoceros continues to stage the best, thought provoking new plays in the Bay Area. A whole new season of LGBT plays is set for their new home The Eureka Theatre in the financial district of San Francisco. Their new season is exciting and includes the regional Bay Area premier Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 2017; more details below. Tickets for THE BROTHERS SIZE are limited and the show must close on Oct 15th, do your best to get your seats soon.
Theatre Rhinoceros presents
THE BROTHERS SIZE
by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Darryl V. Jones
Featuring: Gabriel Christian, Julian Green and Lakeidrick S. Wimberly
Sept. 24 – Oct. 15, 2016
100 minutes no intermission
Eureka Theatre - 215 Jackson St.
at Battery St. SF, CA 94111
28th Season Line Up http://www.therhino.org/#season
Photo's by Steven Ho
Join Theatre Rhinoceros for its 39th Anniversary Season
A whole new season of LGBT plays all performed at our new home The Eureka Theatre in beautiful Downtown San Francisco! Join us for a wild ride in 2016-17!
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