BE UPLIFTED BY “RESURRECTION”
BONNIE GOLDBERG 10/30/08
The Bible is filled with passages referring to resurrection, a rising up from death back to life, a valley of dry bones being restored into a living army in Ezekiel, a mysterious angel telling Daniel that multitudes who sleep shall awaken, Job being told his destroyed body will one day see God and Isaiah hearing that dead men shall live and arise. This is a common theme in many religions and certainly the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central doctrine in Christianity.
Daniel Beaty, a new voice in theater that is equally poetic and musical, moving and evocative, will stage the world premiere of his play
“Resurrection” on the Hartford Stage through Sunday, November 16. With references back to Africa and a history of slavery, “Resurrection” tells the tale of six African-American men, each struggling with their lives in the ghetto, one representing each decade from sixty down to age ten.
At sixty, Bishop is the head of a powerful church, but he is helpless to deal with his own demons. At fifty, Mr. Rogers has opened a health food store in the hood, to counteract the soul food and fried food he feels is killing his “brothers.” At forty, Bishop’s son Isaac is a successful music executive who is living a lie he is afraid to confess. Dre, thirty, is fresh from prison but can’t find a job, until Bishop convinces Mr. Rogers to hire him. ‘Twon, twenty, is a recent high school graduate, the first from the projects with the chance to go to college, thanks to the mentoring Isaac has provided. Key to the whole story is ten year old Eric, Mr. Roger’s young scientific genius son, who is trying to use his father’s herbs to create the remedy that will transform all their lives for the better.
Oz Scott directs a potent ensemble cast who includes Jeffrey V. Thompson (the Bishop), Michael Genet (Mr. Rogers), Alvin Keith (Isaac), Che Ayende (Dre), Turron Kofi Alleyne (‘Twon), and Thuliso Dingwall (Eric). Original music is provided by Daniel Bernard Roumain on an involving and fascinating set designed by G. W. Mercier.
For tickets ($23-66), call Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. ; Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Sunday and selected Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. The show is ninety minutes, without an intermission.
The tenth annual Festival of New Works will take place Thursday, November 6-Tuesday, November 11 with a 10/10/10 anniversary fundraiser Monday, November 10 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., featuring award-winning playwright Edward Albee and stage and screen star Kate Mulgrew as Honorary Chairs. The individual play readings are $5-$10 and the fundraiser is $100 for the full evening.
Look for hope and transformation, promise and redemption, healing and prayer, pride and love as six men experience Daniel Beaty’s special brand of resurrection. The upcoming election presents a certain extra poignancy to the piece.
This will appear in the Middletown Press on October 30.