Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Native Son -Intiman

Intiman Theater
Through September 19th

Richard Wright's classic piece of African-American literature struggled through many trials and tribulations to come to life for audiences of Seattle at the Intiman Theater. After losing the rights to the originally planned script, director Kent Gash gained rights to the original Richard Wright and Paul Green play and adapted it for the current run in under three weeks. Bringing together an amazing cast surrounded by a beautiful set and lifted up by incredible music, this play will have everyone examining the foundations of our culture.

Kent Gash's direction and adaptation of this book made play are a testament to his skill. Though much of the tension of the novel is lost due to time constraints in a stage form of this story, the fear, flight and fate (the three main themes of the novel) are clearly present. Every vital event, character and interaction is present in this adaptation. Gash's direction of the play comes together beautifully and naturally. The scary thing is that there is nothing unnatural about this play. Every event and action seems completely feasible and factual.

Ato Essandoh (Bigger Thomas) brings to life a magnificent character. His stage presence shines above the play as a personal torch to light the way of Wright's meaning through his story. He is supported by strong cast including Richard Kline (Mr. Max) and Felicia V Loud (Vera Thomas and Bessie).

Chic Street Man's musical composition is a subtle and impressive addition. Bringing a new almost cinematic perspective to the play, his musical stylings augment the time period, emotion and plot of the play.

Though not a must-see, definitely a recommended production. Though it only runs for the remainder of this week, I highly suggest seeing it if possible.

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