Monday, Oct 23, 2017
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 27, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 21
Brownie Points' exploration of race pointedly appropriate
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Brownie Points' exploration of race pointedly appropriate

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Brownie Points
Taproot Theatre
Through June 18


Janece Shaffer's comedy Brownie Points has a warm-hearted, beautifully done production going at Taproot Theatre. Five moms on a trip with 14 (unseen) first-graders confront issues of race, class, economics, marital status, and who works outside the home and who stays home.

Shaffer is a writer from Atlanta, and has set this play in her home area. In some ways, Atlanta has successfully integrated society at the middle and upper class levels, but there is a layer of complacency that is easily ripped away.

A solid ensemble of five - Casi Wilkerson, Nikki Visel, Amy Love, Karen Ann Daniels, and Faith Russell - delivers a cohesive, believable fugue of relationships. They align and re-align as the day goes on, colliding and reconnecting. Director Karen Lund keeps the energy up for a relatively short, intermission-free script that hits us in the solar plexus, where race relations hide.

Nicole (Daniels) and Deidre (Russell) have decided to go along on the Brownie overnight, and have been assigned kitchen duty for the entire 24-hour trip. Did Allie (Wilkerson) assign them that way because they are black? Is she a racist? She's certainly abrupt and impatient.

Sue (Visel) and Jamie (Love) defend Allie and try to disarm the conflict, with varying levels of success. Certainly, there are decisions that are concerning: the campsite is a secluded mountain cabin in a North Georgia county historically known for lynchings.

The conversation is frank. The script doesn't pull punches and says what it needs to in order to really get issues out on the table. Yet, it's funny and good-hearted, so while the confrontation is sharp, each moment of tension is resolved, for the most part.

Deidre is the angriest woman. She's a highly regarded surgeon who doesn't cook. She's suspicious of Allie, partly based on (as she describes later) a history of less-than-successful interactions where she felt dismissed by Allie at every turn.

Nicole understands Deidre's anger, but has a closer relationship with the white women, since she's had more time to spend with them while staying at home. She's not as ready to cast racial aspersions on the situation.

Jamie is the most angst-ridden mother, with her liberal, Jewish background showing prominently. She wants to acknowledge 'color' while embracing differences. She's afraid of conflict, but ultimately is the one who stands up most strongly, even when she's afraid to.

Allie is a former attorney turned stay-at-home mom with a special-needs son who now takes all her energy and focus. (Her situation could stand to be more fully scripted, and is given too little attention.) Brusque and driven, she is that superwoman who seems to do it all, but has little time to devote to relationships. She is representative of an easy person to misunderstand and misconstrue.

Sue is the least defined character, though by no means extraneous to the production. She is the only divorced woman, and has to work full-time by force of economic need.

Russell gets to play against character, as she bristles with each little slight. A twist - an additional circumstance at the end - gives an even deeper understanding as to why her character feels so deeply hurt and defensive. Wilkerson is pitch-perfect as the harried troupe leader who takes on too much responsibility and never feels acknowledged for her hard work. Love works particularly hard in a layered performance, stumbling good-naturedly with awkward social faux pas, yet doggedly trying to bridge the racial divide.

This is tough stuff, handled beautifully, so we can see ourselves in the characters and ask difficult questions inside about our own prejudices. This play deserves your attention, and your enjoyment is guaranteed. It rates an emphatic 'go see it.' Some performances will include talk-backs, which may enhance your experience.

For more information, go to www.taproot.org or call 206-781-9707.

Discuss your opinions at sgncritic@gmail.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

U2's mega June concert descends on Seattle
------------------------------
La Femme Magnifique Washington Pageant
------------------------------
Where It's At: Adele, Mars, Van Dyk lead busy June
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Rachelle Ferrell phenomenal at Jazz Alley
------------------------------
Guys and Dolls keeps its winning ways
------------------------------
Brownie Points' exploration of race pointedly appropriate
------------------------------
Dive into Reservoir Dolls' bloody fun
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Tenor Jonas Kaufmann spectacular in Tosca DVD
------------------------------
The Gay films of SIFF 2011
------------------------------
Second Hangover impossible to recover from
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Bumbershoot announces full lineup on June 1
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Becoming a work of art at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News