Theatre Review: Carl Lumbly And Dynamic Ensamble Cast Flex Talent Muscles in “The Emperor Jones”

Playing Multiple Parts, Ensemble Cast Flexes Talent Muscles [Click photo for tickets]

Playing Multiple Parts, Ensemble Cast Flexes Talent Muscles [Click photo for tickets]

That such a small ensemble delivers such a successful project is a testament that they are professionals.

Deirdre H. T. Finnegan’s unprecedented energy is consistent and her vibrance shines every time her characters enter the stage.

[click on a photo to see it full size]

Ted Speros weaves effortlessly through the diabolical personality shifts and schemes of Smithers, as well as assuming several other roles such as the convincingly hateful Auctioneer.

Linda Livingston corner’s the market in talent. It’s impressive enough to be a talented actor, but a musician too?  It’s not fair.

Critically acclaimed Trevor Lawrence has an undeniable presence.  His body language renders power and veracity, conveying a believable antagonist for Jones.

George Livingston shows his range as he intermittently torments Jones and then gives haunting portraits of suffering through inhumanity.

And then there is the star.

Carl Lumbly as The Emperor Jones 1

TV icon, Carl Lumbly’s, portrayal of Brutus Jones captures the at once deplorable yet charismatic personality that leaves us vacillate between sympathizing for Jones and rooting for his rivals.

As if this weren’t enough, Lumbly’s heartbreaking portrayal of Charles Gilpin (in the preceding short film) leaves a gash to the soul.

With no small help from Keriann Egeland (Costume Designer),  Catalina Nino (Set Designer), and Lewis Campbell (Stage Carpenter & Rigging), the Cyclone Warehouse has been transformed to another time and place.  The provocative performance exceeds expectations.  And the libations are delightfully refreshing.  This is a complete experience.

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