Photo by Axel Nastansky
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by Abe Ingle
For his TBA rendition of “Resurrection,” Daniel Beaty stripped his show from a fully-cast and set performance to a powerfully minimal one man show. With only six pieces of masking tape and minimal lighting, Beaty masterfully portrays the struggles of six very different African American men (aged 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60) as they strive to overcome their circumstances.
Sliding between his characters’ monologues effortlessly using only posture and intonation, Beaty effortlessly juggles characters ranging from a 10-year-old iced tea chemist, an ex-con, and an aging preacher with a weakness for Ho-Hos.
But while the portrayal of these characters is witty and charmingly earnest, and the interlocking of their individual stories quite clever, the stories themselves could use some work. The beginning introduces each character with a blunt name/age/relationship format that might have better been communicated with Beaty’s acting skills throughout the stories than outright explained at the beginning. The ending, in which the characters are simultaneously healed through a mystical, Christian experience, was also a bit awkward, and seemed a bit rushed. I think it might have worked better if some of the mystical elements made brief appearances throughout the production, instead of storming in full force at the very end.
To be fair, this was a pared down show, and some of the issues may have been the result of a quick transition from a full cast play to a one man show, and, in any case, “Resurrection” is still a moving, powerful production that, despite some of its clumsy elements, showcases a skilled actor with real talent, and no shortage of ambition.
-by Abe Ingle