Last night we went to Trinity Rep to see Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, which runs through March 8th. The show is not flawless--director Brian McEleney repeatedly interrupts its flow and undermines its realism by having characters address their monologues, like closing statements, to the audience--but its cumulative effect is adamantine. On the page, the play feels expansive, full of stirring rhetorical gestures; in performance, lead actors Joe Wilson, Jr., Lynette Freeman, Barbara Meek, and Angela Thomas, rein in Hansberry's more precious, precocious moments: they have found the personal in the poetical. Credit for the show's success must go to the entire cast--indeed, they set a standard for ensemble acting that other local stages will be hard-pressed to match--but Joe Wilson, Jr.'s, depiction of Walter Younger, a man chasing himself to exhaustion, is so athletic, so fierce, and so volatile, that it leaves us dazed.
I'll have a review posted soon.