Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fathers and Sons - ACT

Fathers and Sons
May 1 – May 25, 2008
Tickets and Information

Evey family has a story that no one wants to tell. Every man has experiences he'd rather take to the grave than speak aloud. Sometimes, there's nothing for it. Sometimes, these stories must be told and closure must be found. When and where this happens is not up to us.

ACT is proud to present the world premier of Fathers and Sons, by Michael Bradford and directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, which chronicles the story of three fathers and three sons; what they've done that they regret and of what they've done that they're proud. It would be massively difficult to point out any one aspect of this show over another. The lighting by L.B. Morse, sound by Eric Chapelle, costumes by Melanie Taylor Burgess and set by Matthew Smucker all nail the story and their purpose. Curtis-Newton's direction of the piece brings the dead to life, literally, and is one of the most seamless works Seattle's seen in a very long time.

William Hall Jr., Wilbur Penn and Reginald Andre Jackson. Photo credit Chris Bennion 2008

The story bounces between different moments in the past several years up to the present. Marcus Goodwater (Reginald Andre Jackson) struggles to deal with the issues between his father, Leon (William Hall Jr) and himself as well as battling for his own son. Meanwhile, Leon's father, Bernard (Wilbur Penn), a deceased jazz trumpeter interrupts and tries to find his own peace with his son. Throughout all the action, Yvette (Tracey A. Leigh), Marcus' wife, comes in and out with mind-blowing precision and speed in new costumes, new hairdo's and new attitudes from the beginning of their relationship to the present.

Fathers and Sons is unbelievably captivating from start to finish. The time skipping is handily dealt with using costumes and lighting and the jazz interludes presented by Wilbur Penn are inspiring to say the least. The entire piece is a tour de force for all involved and is a testament to each and every individual and the company as a whole. It truly brings to life the meaning of 'ensemble.'

Review by Nigel Andrews and Lia Morgan

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