Friday, November 21, 2014

'Honky' amuses, intrigues, disturbs -- a quality work of theatrical art

San Diego Rep scores again with comic, provocative work about racism

and courtesy San Diego Rep, Scatena Daniels

San Diego Repertory Theatre, based downtown in Horton Plaza's Lyceum, is a beautiful
 venue known for its equally attractive work, done with enterprise, daring and excellence.
A QUALITY work of art should invite conversation.  It should make us think, encourage discussion, even debate.  It should linger in our mind, like a pleasant meal or a satisfying night out.
Above all, it should be viewed or inspected more than once.
This holds true for a fine painting, a quality poem, a symphony that scintillates.
It certainly applies to San Diego Repertory Theatre's current production of Greg Kalleres' clever and sometimes disturbing play, "Honky."
Many of the opening night audience wore sneakers, as the invitation suggested, in keeping with the storyline.  The playwright was inspired by the shooting death of a young black teenager killed because of his trendy new Air Jordan shoes back in 1989.  In Kalleres' drama, the shoes are flashy "Sky Max" basketball shoes.
REP ARTISTIC director Sam Woodhouse turns out a riveting, rollicking tour de force -- sometimes a "tour de farce" -- which wickedly send up the advertising "sell at any cost" mentality, and challenges our views of one another as diverse people sharing the same planet.
Flanking Jacque Wilke are Cortez L. Johnson and Deleon Dallas.  The three
actors are part of a tense but often funny and wonderfully acted play, "Honky."
A terrific cast of talented actors keeps the action lively and plays multiple parts.  You'll meet Frederick Douglass and Abe Lincoln, along with two basketball playing kids, a wiley ad man, an ingenuous blonde with a big heart and quick mind.  She acts essentially as the storyline's conscience, and various other "regular folk" woven into the tale as we question ethics, morality, propriety and doing the right thing.
Playing a major part in the riveting production is a fabulous, elaborate set designed by Sean Fanning. Imaginative use of high-tech graphics and video images provide background to the three-dimensional space.  Headlines and photos blend with furniture from the neighbor's parlor to stir the imagination and enhance the conflicts and emotional confusion the characters feel.
Woodhouse, a company founder,  is a master storyteller.  He pushes the envelope, as always, to deliver theater for the thinking person.
The Rep deserves kudos for this cutting edge choice, a work hard-hitting, funny and moving.
Bravo, Rep. A job well done since 1976 Thanks again for making us think while we're entertained and engaged.
www. and check out all the special artistic events surrounding the production.  

NEXT UP;  We're back on the trail of  "Lilian's Last Dance," our newly published novel. Exciting reviews are coming in to Amazon. We hope you're enjoying the eBook now.
Bill Jones' original watercolor of a cowboy or paniolo fording the stream.  It is part
of the cover design collage for the new novel, "Lilian's Last Dance."
...Celeste had this to say: "An amazing and exciting romp around the world. This Big Sky girl enjoyed traveling around with Lilian on her great adventure! The author's delightful prose and word paintings bring to life many intriguing characters and the locales they visit. Just enough intermingling of history's greats, along with a little sex, drugs & cowboys, and you've got an exciting read -- quick paced enough to keep one's attention riveted to the last page."  We'll explore the locations and people we visited in researching and writing the novel, from Hawaii's paniolos on the Big Island's working Parker Ranch to Chicago's Palmer House, a luxurious Chicago hotel where our characters stayed. Remember: carpe diem, so explore, learn and live and live and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at: 

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