Monday, November 14, 2011

M Ensemble: Radio Golf (2 reviews)

The M Ensemble opened its production of August Wilson's Radio Golf at the The Light Box's Goldman Warehouse on November 10, 2011.
Radio Golf is a fast-paced, dynamic and wonderfully funny work about the world today and the dreams we have for the future. Set in Pittsburgh in the late 1990's, it's the story of a successful entrepreneur who aspires to become the city's first black mayor. But when the past begins to catch up with him, secrets get revealed that could be his undoing.

The most contemporary of all of August Wilson's work, Radio Golf is the final play in his unprecedented 10-play cycle chronicling African-American life in the 20th century.
John Pryor directed a cast that featured Don Seward,  William Barnes, Carey Hart, Keith Wade, and AndrĂ© L. Gainey,

Michelle F. Solomon reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
There’s something richly poetic about sitting in M Ensemble’s new “home” at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District while watching a play about the maneuverings behind redeveloping a blighted neighborhood.
In the capable hands of artistic director John Pryor, playwright Wilson’s final installment in his monumental 10-play cycle about contemporary African-American life, finds a true voice ― actually a chorus of them ― in the struggles one faces when the past and future collide.
Some people have said the play feels unfinished due to Wilson’s untimely death and that it may have undergone some further revisions had the playwright lived to see it through the process from page to stage. Yet, at M Ensemble, Pryor’s quick pacing and each of the cast’s members ability to inhabit their characters never allows any weakness (if there ever could be one in a Wilson play) to show through.
Still serious in his “Hold Me To It!” slogan, Seward plays Wilks with a tender sincerity although still maintaining his Ivy League rhetoric. Barnes as social-climbing Hicks handles his character with a sophisticated ease. He’s subjected to more than a few verbal punches during the course of events, and a heated exchange with the house painter during a crucial scene over class status is, no doubt, one of the high points of the evening.
Wade and Gainey’s characters (painter Johnson and Ol’ Joe) are familiar Wilson contrarians. Because they are also the comic relief at times, the two actors have the difficult job of making sure their roles don’t drift into caricatures. The seasoned actors both succeed beautifully.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
...director John Pryor, who has staged most of the Wilson plays for M Ensemble, offers his insightful take on Radio Golf.
Effectively staged by Pryor, enhanced with mood-underscoring jazz music by the director’s son Shawn, the M Ensemble production in The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse makes more intimate use of the black-box space. The actors don’t always project well enough – some of Wilson’s words get lost – but each performer brings his (or her) character to vivid life. Gainey and Wade get the funniest, juiciest, most Wilsonesque dialogue, and listening to their artfully timed verbal riffs is a joy.
The M Ensemble's production of Radio Golf plays at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse through November 27, 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment