19 March 2010


This is the last weekend of the KC Rep's production of Broke-ology, which has been highly acclaimed over the last few weeks. Lots of folks were saying lots of good things about it, so we decided to catch it before it ended. And I'm so glad we did.

The story is set in present day Kansas City, Kansas and is about a poor African American family - an aging and ill father, two twenty-something sons, and just the memory of their mother. The location is close to where I live, yet the circumstances couldn't be further away from my world, so I went expecting something unfamiliar.

And yet the story hit home, big time, and I found myself crying like a baby. You don't have to be a trying-to-make-ends-meet black man from KCK to recognize the power of generational transitions, of aging, and of the abrading passage of time. A suburban born-and-raised, pregnant white woman can feel that loud and clear. And anyone who loves their family will feel something too.

1 comment:

bellananda said...

i couldn't agree more, e. c & i caught it last tuesday, which (unbeknownst to us) was the night on which the playwright (a guy from KCKS who graduated from high school the same year i did -- 1997, and went on to graduate from juilliard and win several awards for his work). before the play began, a gent who was superintendent of schools while the playwright attended high school read out a proclamation from the KCKS mayor's office declaring march 16, 2010 to be "Nathan Louis Jackson day," and i believe that we were sitting behind a couple of jackson's lady relatives because they kept whispering throughout the play, "do you remember that?" "mm-hmmmm" "i sure don't know about this part, though," etc. it was funny.

but the play itself just tore at my heartstrings, and every time i turned around, i was sobbing into my hanky. the end just turned me into a melted pile of goo; it's just what i would have done in the father's situation. i thought the play was very well written, and i really liked how the mother's spiritual presence gave a more heartfelt meaning to the father's longing for her in his declining state, rather than just making him seem crazy thinking she was in the room, forgetting who he was talking to and conversing with her as though she was there. i especially appreciated how the direction keep the dialogue and action moving along, rather than falling into the trap of too many pregnant pauses; that gets so tiring in plays like this. well-written, well-acted, well-directed; i was glad to have gotten the chance to see it.