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Breath, Boom

CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Kia Corthron

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 456

SHOWING : May 10, 2002 - June 02, 2002

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"and chaos can’t possibly be the description, cuz this be the most precisely planned chaos you ever saw." Prix is the head of a gang. She orders drive by shootings, runs drugs, and exists in survival mode. She commands respect, fear and absolute loyalty. Prix is 16. And she dreams of designing the perfect fireworks display. With language poetic and streetwise, brash and ballsy -- playwright Kia Corthron explores what it means to choose a life of violence on the streets. Directed by Rachel May. Tickets and Information -- 404-284-1151 Purchase tickets online--http://www.tix.com/EventList.asp. Tickets : $15-18 -- cash and check only at the box office or use your credit card to purchase online! Thurs-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 7pm. May 10-June 2, 2002


CAST & CREW LIST
Assistant Director Sandra Benton
Lighting Design Jessica Coale
Technical Direction Mack Headrick
Properties Design Heidi Howard
Stage Manager Rita Ann Marcec
Set Design Marisabel Marrat
Costume Design Nyrobi Moss
Sound Design Clint Thornton
Jupiter/Cat Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Mother understudy Sandra Benton
Malika/Socks/Jo Tiffany Brown
Angel/Shondra Kameshia Duncan
Comet Michele McCullough
Denise/Jo's Friend/Fuego Maria Parra
Jerome Michael Anthony Tatmon
Prix Shontelle Thrash
Correction Officer/Pepper Traci Tolmaire
Girl Mia Whitehead
Mother/Officer Day Hilda Willis
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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dissed
by Screensaver
Friday, May 31, 2002
2.0
Angry only goes so far. A lot of cliches. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Kindness Regained
by Dedalus
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
4.0
"Breath, Boom" opens with a scene of cruelty -- a teenage street gang beats their friend who committed the unforgivable sin of SAYING she wanted out of the gang. It closes with a scene of kindness -- the gang's leader, Prix, now grown to adulthood, promises her dying mother a gift. In between, we see how cruelties and kindnesses (or, more accurately, the lack of kindnesses) reverberate throughout Prix's life and choices.

This is a complex and moving play, showing a life slice few of us have known or can ever know. It shows how the smallest gestures can be remembered can grow into a path to redemption, and, conversely, it shows how some gross cruelties can become such a part of one's life, that the details are forgotten. Prix experiences abuse as a 5-year-old and grows a protective shell which gives her an “ice” reputation, a reputation that serves her well (for a time) on the streets and in jail. But the “ice” is never complete – she still feels wonder and joy at the sight of fireworks, and dreams of one day designing fireworks displays.

It is this chink in her armor that lets those of us who have never experienced life on the street into her story. And it is with Shontelle Thrash’s marvelous performance that we are guided through a life more punishing than anything in Dante’s Inferno. We are attracted from the start to her sense of joy and innocence. At the same time we are repelled by her actions.

The entire production is well-conceived and well-performed, directed by Rachel May with an energy equal to the on-the-razor’s-edge lifestyle of its protagonists. I only have two quibbles – the staging of the scenes involving the ghost of Prix’s abusive step-father are a tad jarring – they purposefully break down the “fourth wall” the rest of the production works to achieve. Script-wise, these scenes illuminate how Prix is able to cope with her horrible past and turn it into a positive force; these scenes came across as “stagy” and distracted me from what was going on in them. My other quibble is a very occasional lapse in clarity – I’m not sure the Socks/Malika and Jupiter/Comet connections were clear to someone not familiar with the script. Of course, I could be wrong about this.

This is one of the best productions I’ve seen this year, and Synchronicity is to be roundly applauded for attempting and succeeding with its presentation. It is a grim play filled with hope and the possibility of redemption. At one point, Prix cynically writes that her life would be different if she had “experienced a little kindness,” thinking this is what her counselors want to hear. The irony is that she is correct, and her life turns around when she begins to SHOW a little kindness.


-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com) [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
A Moving Night of Theater
by bugeyed
Monday, May 20, 2002
5.0
Hats off to Synchronicity for doing this daring play and for doing it so well. Rachel May's directing is top notch and the cast, many of whom play multiple roles, does a wonderful job. If you want a compelling night at the theater--one that will make you think, laugh, cry and sit on the edge of your seat--then don't miss this production. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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