Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thumbs Up, Once Again to @DTCabaret. Raisin In The Son, Spectacular

Sitting in my office yesterday writing, researching, plotting, and planning, I received a text from my Stratford friends, Dave and Kris, with the idea to get dinner and to see the Downtown Cabaret, Bridgeport, production of A Raisin in the Sun. I tend to make poor decisions in my life from time to time, so I'm always happy when I make a good one. I said, "Sure. I'll pick you up at 5:40."

It was Kris and Dave's first time to this theater and I told them, "Trust me. The quality will be phenomenal. You'll be impressed."

Impressed? Without a doubt. Jahi Kassa Tahanqa, Noel Ginyard, LaMarr Taylor, MaeTae Harge, Ajibola "Keeme" Tajudeen, Avery Owens, Garth West, Elijah Manning, Eric Dino, and Joe Cardoza did a phenomenal job - standing ovation worthy. Everything about the production was fantastic, and more applause is needed for the Theater and Production Staff.

Dave has co-directed the play at Westhill High School in Stamford and Kris had seen the production on television and in other locations. I was 99.9% sure I had read the play, but quickly realized I had zero memory of the story. From the first scenes, I was hooked. When I was teaching in Kentucky, A Raisin in the Sun was introduced to sophomores and even with my background, I guess I never had the opportunity to teach the script. I know I own it. I know it's quality, but I've never seen it. Lorraine Hansberry's play is meant to be seen and tomorrow, when I wake up, I'm making a call to several teachers I know to insist they find a way to see it.

To the performers who portrayed the Younger family --- WOW. It was nailed, and the love, conflict, struggle, dreams, worries, politics, and fear were performed with excellence. The entire production sparked hours of conversation afterwards, especially with the play's historical context, plot, believability, and total frustration for the struggle. These actors made it obvious why such a script should be celebrated in the canon of American literature. They did Lorraine Hansberry incredible justice with their heartfelt portrayal  - so much so that the ear piece distractions in the beginning could be easily forgotten.

The Downtown Cabaret provides quality theater for southern Connecticut and 7 years in the state, I'm ready to say, "It is a Fairfield County gem." I can't wait for more of their work.

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