Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2016’

A muscular dynamic The Brothers Size by Theatre Rhino at the Eureka Theatre

brother-size-postcard

THE BROTHERS SIZE: Drama Part Two of the Brothers/Sisters Plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Darryl V. Jones. The Rhino Theatre group, Eureka Theatre – 215 Jackson St., (at Battery St.) SF, CA 94111. www.TheRhino.org.    

Sept. 24 – Oct. 15, 2016

A muscular dynamic The Brothers Size by Theatre Rhino at the Eureka Theatre

Tarell Alvin McCraney burst onto the San Francisco Bay Area theatre scene in 2010 when his trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays received thunderous ovation at three separate venues. The Marin Theatre Company (MTC) mounted In the Red and Brown Water followed by the Magic’s production of The Brothers Size and lastly Marcus: or The Secret of Sweet at A.C.T. Last year McCraney’s play Choir Boy had an extended run at MTC and Berkeley Rep performed Head of Passes on its Thrust Stage.

It is not necessary to see the trio of plays since The Brothers Size stands alone. There are only three characters, all with Yoruba religious mythical names to emphasize that the actors face “the challenge of a role greater than himself . . . and he ‘becomes’ his role. LaKeidrick S. Wimberly, Gabriel Christian and Julian Green respectively do become Ogun (a Yoruba deity of metal) Size, Oshoosi (a hunter and seer) Size and Elegba (a trickster). Although there are two dream/nightmare sequences that take on a mythical format, myth takes a back seat to a gritty muscular story of brotherly love amidst present day racism.

The action takes place in the mythical Louisiana Bayou town of San Pere. Ogun Size runs a very successful auto repair garage and his younger brother Oshoosi returns home after being paroled from jail. Elegba, a troublesome trickster as his name suggests, has been Oshoosi’s lover/protector while they were in jail. Oshoosi is floundering without direction and Ogun has accepted the burden of being his protector and mentor. Conflict between the brothers is exacerbated with Elegba’s influence leading Oshoosi into dangerous social behavior and eventual conflict with the law.

The honed physical bodies of the actors are perfect for this powerful well-constructed play that fits together perfectly and has the audience reacting with thunderous applause but not quite receiving the standing ovation of Octavio Solis’ direction at the Magic Theatre. Noted director Darryl V. Jones has elected to have his characters perform at high pitched level that does not quite delineate the love of Ogun for Oshoosi. A bit of nuance would give the characters more verisimilitude. This not a criticism but an observation that quiet moments are needed to create a total personality

To Jones’ credit within this tense drama there is ironic humor with a pitch perfect scene with Oshooi and Elegba acting out the interaction with a local cop harassing them at the fateful traffic stop. Also as Elegba’s love is gently rejected by Oshoosi the brother’s rivalry and animosity meld into true love.

The scenic design of a bare bones auto repair shop with appropriate paraphernalia and props reflects the dreariness of life in the bayou. An added symbolic circle created by an unbroken length of chain dominates center stage occasionally delineating or suggesting mythology. All this with rat-a-tat beats interspersed with atmospheric music and lighting create an almost perfect milieu for McCraney’s play.

CAST: Ogun Size, LaKeidrick S. Wimberly, Oshoosi Size, Gabriel Christian; Elegba, Julian Green.

CREATIVE STAFF:Director, Darryl V. Jones;Assistant Director,Wesley Rou; Choreographer,Laura Elaine Ellis; Musical Director,Darryl V. Jones; Stage Managers,Josh Gallardo,Wesley Rou,Mickey Byrne;Scenic Designer,Margaret Adair MacCormack; Costume Designer,Kitty Muntzel; Lighting Designer,Wesley Rou; Assistant Lighting Designer,Nick Cleope; Sound Designer,Daniel Banatao; Musical Director, Darryl V. Jones.

Running time is one hour and 40 minutes without intermission and is highly recommended.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldim2.com.

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