“Red and Brown Water”
Tarell Alvine McCraney
This week in theater, by Rose Desena
This play was intriguing, interesting and hit close to home. McCraney is a wonderful storyteller who gives us a beautiful mythical story about the destiny of young women. This is a magical stage production with beautiful music. The voices carry us the through the play.
A talented young woman has just passed into womanhood; she is faced with a life changing decision. Oya (Diarra Kilpatrick) is the fastest runner in her school. She takes pride in her running and trains hard daily. As a matter of fact she is so fast she gets the attention of a coach, O LI Roon (Stephen Marshall) who wants to recruit her for his college team. He offers her a new life.
However, Oya has another destiny. She turns him down to stay in her economically and socially depressed town of San Pere, a Bayou town in Louisiana. Her Mom, whom she is close to, needs her. She seems to miss the importance of seizing opportunity when it knocks. There are two men in her life. One her Mom approves of and the other, of course, is the one the mother knows will disappoint. Once again she makes the wrong choice. Dorian Christian Baucum ( Ogun) and Gilbert Glenn Brown (Shango) beautifully feed off each other as they play on her emotions. Peggy A. Blow (Mama Mojo) is superb as she struts around the stage expressing concerns and sharing words of wisdom.
What was so disturbing to me was the lack of options that this young woman had. Or perhaps she didn’t realize there were other choices to make. She seemed to just accept the fate that she fell into. What would have happened if her mother had not died so abruptly? What if, what if?
This is a story touched by truths, myths, reality and pain. It’s about love, sorrow, struggle, disappointments, mistakes, and last but not least, community. A community some of us might not understand. A place where mistakes are never forgiven and destiny is hard to escape.
This play is part of a trilogy, The Brother and Sister Plays, The Brothers Size, The Secret of Sweet, and Marcus. McCraney is a truly gifted writer his plays will be on the stages around the world for years to come.
I suggest you see this. It’s blessed with wonderful acting and complete with great music.
“RED and BROWN WATER”
Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Shirley Jo
The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave, LA 90029
Runs thru December 16th
Friday and Saterday @ 8pm Sunday @ 2pm
Cast- Dorian Christian Baucum, Peggy A Blow, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Justin Chu Cary, Diarra Kilpatrick, Stephen Marshall, Simon Missick, Iona Morris, Theodore Perkins, Maya Lynne Roberson.