Entertainment ‘Thoughts of a Colored Man’: Theater Review
Judge Scolds Defense for Allowing ‘Visibly Upset’ Nikolas Cruz to Calm His Nerves by Using Colored Pencils in Court
A Florida judge on Wednesday scolded defense attorneys for allowing accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz to use colored pencils during jury selection in a trial related to a separate jail brawl. Cruz is accused of attacking a guard while he was behind bars in November 2018. That case is proceeding apart from a prosecution involving the murders of seventeen others at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day 2018. TheA Florida judge on Wednesday scolded defense attorneys for allowing accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz to use colored pencils during jury selection in a trial related to a separate jail brawl. Cruz is accused of attacking a guard while he was behind bars in November 2018.
Thoughts of a Colored Man is the kind of play I make excuses for. Theproduction of Keenan Scott II’s new work is a study of Black masculinity and “blends spoken word, slam poetry, rhythm and humor” to tell the stories of a group of Black men living in Brooklyn. Based on this description alone, it sounds like the kind of project — experimental in structure, bold in vision and written and directed by Black people — that I want to succeed in the glaringly white world of . And yet, days after seeing this entertaining but emotionally inert play, I am resistant to passing judgment, plagued by the ways it fell short for me.
Buckle up: Arizona Republicans to show 2020 recount results
PHOENIX (AP) — Ten months after Donald Trump lost his 2020 reelection bid in Arizona, supporters hired by Arizona Senate Republicans were preparing to deliver the results of an unprecedented partisan election review that is the climax of a bizarre quest to find evidence supporting the former president’s false claim that he lost because of fraud. Nearly every allegation made by the review team so far has crumbled under scrutiny. Election officials in Arizona and around the country expect more of the same Friday from the review team they say is biased, incompetent and chasing absurd or disproven conspiracy theories.
Scott’s drama, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, premieres during a particularly exciting time on Broadway. Not only does this season represent a trepidatious return to theaters after nearly two years of a pandemic-mandated shutdown, but the inclusion of seven plays by Black playwrights reflects the impact of the national discourse on race in response to George Floyd’s murder. Joining a lineup that includes Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over, Douglas Lyons’ Chicken & Biscuits, Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s and Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, Scott stands in good company. There’s no doubt that part of my inner conflict concerns the hype around the show and its moment. It’s thrilling to see Broadway embrace more Black playwrights, but tardy diversity efforts only put more pressure on the works that do end up in front of an audience.
Tonys: Audra McDonald, ‘The Inheritance’s’ Matthew Lopez, More Winners Push for Increased Broadway Inclusivity
The 2021 Tony Awards was peppered with calls for increased diversity as Broadway’s big night returned to New York as stage shows are resuming after being shut down for more than 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Winners ranging from The Inheritance‘s Matthew Lopez, A Soldier’s Play‘s Kenny Leon and honoree the Broadway Advocacy […]Winners ranging from The Inheritance‘s Matthew Lopez, A Soldier’s Play‘s Kenny Leon and honoree the Broadway Advocacy Coalition all called on the industry to do better.
Thoughts of a ColoredMan opens with little fanfare. The simplicity of the set — designed by Robert Brill — belies the forthcoming narrative roller coaster. Scott writes in a style, which he terms “,” that recalls Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls… (which will have its own Broadway revival in 2022). The protagonists are archetypes of different Black men, sketches reflecting a broad range of experiences.
Happiness (Bryan Terrell Clark) is a vision of upward mobility. We meet him on his morning jog as he takes in the sights, sounds and smells of his new Brooklyn neighborhood. Anger (Tristan Mack Wilds, in a strong Broadway debut) lives in the shadow of an unrealized dream of playing professional basketball and coaches kids in the neighborhood for a living. Passion (Luke James) is a teacher committed to his students and has a baby on the way. Depression (an incredibly engaging Forrest McClendon) works at the new Whole Foods in the neighborhood to help support his mother and his younger brother. He’s an engineering genius but doesn’t have the means or opportunity to prove it. Love (Dyllón Burnside) and Lust (Da’Vinchi) are two peas in a pod; rarely do you see one without the other. They both grew up in the church, but Love is an understated hopeless romantic who scribbles poems in his free time while Lust seems to be in competition with himself to see how many women he can sleep with. Finally, there’s Wisdom (Esau Pritchett), a griot-type figure who runs a barbershop that doubles as a watering hole for the other men.
Taiwan Vows to 'Defend Itself' Amid U.S. Reversal, Here's How Much Stronger China Is
"The complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and it will definitely be fulfilled," Ma Xiaoguang of China's Taiwan Affairs Council said.President Joe Biden stirred controversy during a Thursday evening town hall when he twice appeared to confirm that he had a commitment to protect Taiwan in the event of an attack, one that would presumably come from China, where President Xi Jinping has vowed to take reintegrate the rival government by diplomacy, or force, if necessary.
The play functions as a series of snapshots of the lives of the seven men, loosely connected by its setting in Bedford-Stuyvesant. They introduce themselves one at a time through spoken word, rhymes and the occasional song. Meeting them at different points in their respective routines — Depression restocking aisles; Lust and Love chopping it up at the B43 bus stop on Tompkins and Fulton — gives us a sense of which kind of Brooklyn they occupy and gracefully supports the play’s thematic thread concerning gentrification. Although some of the monologues come off as clichéd, they hint at the potential within the characters, whose backstories seem ripe for excavation.
But Scott doesn’t tease out these narratives as forcefully as he can, and as a result, parts of Thoughts of a Colored Man feel flat despite the emphatic performances. The conversations between the men rely on generalizations about how Black men are seen and treated in America without offering detailed enough backstories to prevent them from feeling stale. And the number of issues Scott tries to tackle doesn’t help the cause. The play might have felt less rushed had he focused on fewer protagonists.
How Broadway Musicals Saved This Doctor After His Dad Died When He Was 11: 'The Beauty of Life'
"Nothing moves me like Broadway; the theater is just everything," Dr. Henry Friedman tells PEOPLE RELATED: All the Broadway Shows Opening or Returning as N.Y.C. Theaters Reopen Their Doors Neither did his mother, Miriam. In her desperation, he says, she tried to figure out what she and her son could do together to seek comfort.
There are moments when the experimental drama nearly reaches its aimed-for degree of emotional vivacity. In those scenes, Scott burrows into the details. Take a particularly striking exchange between Happiness and Depression which reveals that they are more similar than they think. Or what feels like a throwaway comment from Lust about his mother that clarifies much of the character’s behavior earlier in the play. It’s in these moments, when Scott challenges his characters to defend their beliefs and convictions or anchors his story in vivid details, that the production feels purposeful. That passion serves a greater purpose too, helping the play feel less dated than it is. After the past several years, when public conversations about Blackness and masculinity have become more nuanced, Thoughts of a Colored Man can feel basic in its observations about both.
In anwith Broadway Direct, Scott speaks tenderly about looking within his community for inspiration, and it’s evident how seriously he takes that responsibility. Yet I was struck by his response to a question about additional research he might have conducted. Scott says: “I didn’t have to do anything outside of my own existence. I didn’t have to do any personal research because I know all of these men I was writing about.” But I’m not so sure of that. There is value in revisiting and querying the narratives we think we know best. It’s often through such investigation that we can confront contradictions, unearth unlikely motivations, or simply see the present in a different way. I wonder about versions of Thoughts of a Colored Man that might have taken these possibilities into consideration.
Venue: John Golden Theatre, New York
Cast: Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Esau Pritchett, Da’Vinchi, Luke James, Forrest McClendon, Tristan Mack Wilds
Director: Steve H. Broadnax III
Music, lyrics and book: Te’la, Kamauu
Set designer: Robert Brill
Costume designer: Toni-Leslie James, Devario D. Simmons
Lighting designer: Ryan O’Gara
Sound designer: Mikaal Sulaiman
Projection designer: Sven Ortel
Executive producer: Lane Marsh
Presented by Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Diana DiMenna, Samira Wiley, Sheryl Lee Ralph, The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization
Georgia board to tap election review panel for Fulton County .
ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia State Board of Elections plans to appoint a review panel this week as part of a process that could lead to a takeover of elections in the state's most populous county under a provision in the state's sweeping new election law. Republican lawmakers cited the new law when they asked the state board last month to appoint the performance review board to investigate Fulton County's handling of elections. The board plans to appoint the panel during its meeting Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.