Basic Black

Carolyn Parson brings solid believability and convincing intelligence to Beneatha, effectively the emotional spine of the play. I also enjoyed the balanced performance of Steven J. Scally in the token white role, which was played with such slimy obviousness in the Broadway production that it lost all credibility. By contrast, Scally is so believable and "well-intentioned" that he truly makes your skin crawl with recognition.

As Walter Lee, the veteran Ken Love plays with enormous charm and conviction, even though the depth of despair he must display in the penultimate scene was not yet fully realized on opening night.

Similarly, Joyce Gittoes (Lena) does so much that is so lovely and touching that it seems petty to quibble over the size of her optional capacity in the climactic moments. Her performance is rather like hearing a very fine viola in a part written for a cello.

The setting by Chris Haines is perfect in every detail, and becomes more an environment than scenery. This is the most graceful and incisive work done by director St. Clair, and Black Theatre Troupe has mounted a fine replica of this classic play. This honorable incarnation of one of the greatest plays of our time fully deserved the standing ovation on opening night. You will want to stand and cheer the sheer joy that great theatre can inspire with eternal truths.

Black Theatre Troupe's production of A Raisin in the Sun continues through Sunday, April 28, at Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 333 East Portland. For more details, see Theatre listing in Thrills.

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