Thu October 24, 2013
Theatre Review: The Rep's "Fly" Soars
The Tuskegee Airmen fought for a country that appreciated neither their skill, nor their sacrifice. Not only were they kept separate from their white counterparts; they also endured myriad acts of malice and bigotry from men who were supposed to be on the same side. Ellis and Khan, who also directs, paint the story in broad strokes, the four actors playing the airmen, David Pegram, (Chet Simpkins) Eddie R Brown III, (W.W.) Will Cobbs (Oscar) and Terrell Donnell Sledge (J. Allen) give us moments of intimacy that shade and color the story gorgeously. The white members of the cast, Greg Brostrom, Cary Donaldson and Timothy Sekk express the hatred and narrow-minded malevolence these men endured and eventually, the grudging respect they earned.
Mostly, the magic is created not by the story itself, but by the way it is told. It is a beautiful piece of art, weaving an innovative, interactive set (created by Beowulf Boritt) and lights (co-designed by Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot) with actors who soar through the air without ever leaving their Eames navy chairs and one, extraordinarily talented dancer, Omar Edwards, who plays the Tap Griot, the otherworldly being who embodies all the frustration, humiliation, insecurity and, finally, joy, the airmen are unable to express in their repressive military world. Edwards shines, his dancing is glorious, his ability to portray emotions through dance, exceptional.
Fly continues at the Loretto Hilton through November 10th. Don’t miss the magic.