TREE – REGIONAL PREMIERE BY JULIE HEBERT

by on January 30, 2015

SF PLAYHOUSE – POST STREET

This play could have been called ROOTS – but that title has been used  

Didi, a white woman from the South shows up on a Chicago door step. Leo, a black man caring for his dementia ridden mother. He has a suitcase full of letters written by his mother to his father. At first he feigns that he doesn’t know who the real father is, but that proves not to be true. Despite himself he begins to bond with Didi who is his half sister. When his daughter J.J. finds another cache of letter from the father. A new revelation emerges. 

A stunning Nina Ball set provides a perfect back ground for four strong performances. Although the play has a natural break. It plays without an intermission. I found that I should stay in my seat for nearly two hours. You will be well rewarded by this gripping production. 

The highly-trafficked stage brings an amazing whirlwind message to the audience. These are not peek-a-boo tunics. However, there is someone on the stage that keeps remembering  “Penises.” I never knew that the audience was that thrilled. The stage gets hotter. 

A Southern African good looking man is from Chicago. The Journalist claims to be his half-sister. Ummm – very interesting. Maybe she is and maybe she ain’t. 

This stage show at (TREE) becomes a ticking instrument. There are explosive implications that will drag everyone that almost destroys the family. A generational divide tries to communicate – it’s not working. But an endearing tale of resilience leaves us at the end of this melodrama. 

It’s a shocking ending. I almost fell off the seat. Who is she? You will run to see it! The Cast has brought potent emotions of love, loss, and pain. But, sometimes we all get a little Mad! 

HERE IS THE SUPREME CAST: Tristan Cunningham*, Susi Damilano*, Carl Lumbly* and Cathleen Riddley*

Designers include: Nina Ball (Set Design), Kurt Landisman (Light design), Theodore J.H. Hulsker (Sound design and Abra Berman  – (Costume design) 

 

RATING: Six Stars ******

or Six Classes of Champagne****** 

 

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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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