KPBS SUBMISSION DATE: OCTOBER 20, 1999
The actors weren’t stripped down; the production was. Acclaimed South African playwright Athol Fugard wrote an opening scene for naked actors in his stark and searing 1974 expose’ of the Immorality Act, which prohibited interracial relationships in his country. Black Ensemble Theater’s associate artistic director Patrick Stewart didn’t find the nudity necessary — but it might’ve helped. Despite a bare, intimate theater, and often-amorous language, there was simply no chemistry between Rhys Greene (as the “colored” school principal) and Betty Matthews (the white librarian). They were excellent on their own, after the arrest, when they were testifying individually, under harsh lights. But together — no pheromones, no lust. Nothing worth losing your soul for. Pity. That stole potency from this powerful (though somewhat preachy) play.
Where: 6@ Penn Studio in Hillcrest (6th & Pennsylvania)
When: through October 30; Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm; Sunday @ 7pm
How long: 75 minutes
How much: $10-12
©1999 Patté Productions Inc.