THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION

Review: The Brothers Size | Jubilee Theatre


Size Matters

Of all the can't-miss shows, Jubilee Theatre's staging of Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size is the one you really cannot go without seeing.



published Friday, October 10, 2014

Photo: Buddy Myers
From left: Seun Soyemi and Rico Romalus Parker in The Brothers Size at Jubilee Theatre

Fort Worth — That thundering sound emanating from S-Ankh Rasa's masterful drumming might as well be the audience’s collective heartbeat in Jubilee Theatre’s production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s powerful tale of confinement and freedom, The Brothers Size.

Adapted from the Yoruba storytelling traditions from West Africa, The Brothers Size opens with Ogun Size (Rico Romalus Parker) trying to wake his recently paroled brother, Oshoosi Size (Seun Soyemi), for work at Ogun’s garage. Osi is reluctant, but Ogun is insistent. At the garage, Oshoosi is visited by his friend Elegba (Adam A. Anderson), which introduces the draw of a life Ogun is trying to keep him from. The familial but tense triad struggle against each other with Osi at the middle, at a crossroads.

The names of the characters are drawn from Yoruba characters. Ogun is an iron worker, adapted here as a mechanic and owner of his own shop. Oshoosi is a hunter, who in the play is portrayed as a restless man unmoved by the thought of working a 9 to 5. He seeks adventure, which often gets him into trouble. Especially considering that his best friend, Elegba, is a trickster character in Yoruban tradition.

Beyond the character and story inspirations, McRaney uses a Brechtian alienation effect by having the characters sometimes speak their own stage directions. Not only does it provide incite into the characters minds, but it also detaches them from their roles, firmly asserting them as characters in a story, which also owes to their Yoruban origins. What this accomplishes is it puts the focus squarely on the story. And what a story it is.

Geniusly adapted to modern American, The Brothers Size approaches the theme of freedom versus confinement with mesmerizing deftness. Having been recently paroled, Oshoosi, in his mind, trades one prison for another as his brother Ogun acts as a disciplinarian towards him. Elegba seemingly offers freedom, which turns out to be, well, Elegba is a trickster. Finally, Oshoosi is faced with a situation that is neither clearly freedom nor prison. The levels of complexity at work in this script are marvelously plotted with surgical precision.

To match that, director Tre Garrett has produced a peerless show. Soyemi, who is actually from Nigeria, is Oshoosi. The part is demanding, and Soyemi is more than up to the task. His portrayal of the conflicted young man is incredibly restrained, meaning that he manages the uncertainty of Osi’s situation with a tentative uncertainty that is made stunning when he finally does emotional break out and assert himself. It is a chilling performance.

Parker’s earnestness is such that he makes the audience root with him for his good-hearted but otherwise misguided brother. The burden he carries is felt. It has actually weight, communicated through Parker’s performance. Most people can only hope to love someone as much as he loves his brother.

The Trickster, Elegba, like Osi, is a subtle character. It’s easy to play a character like that big, but Anderson takes it the other way. Elegba is a concentrated character. He knows what he wants, but he’s delicate in how he seeks to attain it. Anderson’s performance makes you want Elegba to be good so bad. He’s so imminently likable and yet trusting him is so dangerous. His role, his own place in life, is heartbreaking. Anderson is brilliant in the role.

The addition of the djembe, played by Rasa, is a perfect addition (the script doesn't include such a character). The drum is the heartbeat of the show. Garrett’s decision to use this as a part of the story gives the story its emotional soundtrack.

Finally, the production crew also turns in a flawless effort. Particularly Michael Pettigrew’s set, using weathered wooden boards to provide the backdrop of Ogun’s house and shop, provided for clear staging and smooth yet definitive transitions. Junene K’s choreography, in which the characters dance and chant with chains, is petrifying in the best way.

Jubilee Theatre usually does excellent work, but this is a crowning achievement. There are no fancy puns to close this review out. Just a plea. Go see this show. This is what theater should be like all the time. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Size Matters
Of all the can't-miss shows, Jubilee Theatre's staging of Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size is the one you really cannot go without seeing.
by Kris Noteboom

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit