This is what I announced in my theater column in NOT BORN YESTERDAY and I must admit I was quite unprepared for the emotional power of the play. A couple meet on that same glorious night, filled with the joy of believing this victory heralds a change and their love can bloom. Their scenes together are electric – at first with a gentle hum, then a sensual reality. Yes, it’s a love story that evolves into a domestic tragedy, but most of all it’s an indictment of our society even today.
C.J. Lindsey brilliantly portrays a man living in a society that denies his manhood, that mocks him by pretending to acknowledge his worth, while undermining his self-image. What happens to this man who believes in the promise that winning the war against racism means there is now authentic acceptance? That night of nights was the fulfilment of a promise – but was it – and the realization that nothing has changed has the cruel power to harden a man’s soul, to destroy the love he feels, and punish those his heart longs to protect and serve.
Austin Highsmith Garces moves gracefully from naïve charmer to passionate lover to bewildered waiting woman. Jonathan Slavin as a gay understanding neighbor moves from playful friendship to compassionate determination while facing a society that he is aware also demeans him.
Cover photo by Jennifer Logan. Performance photos by Tim Sullens