Thursday, September 16, 2010

Through the Night **

I'm not a big fan of one-person shows, but I decided to take a chance on Daniel Beaty's 80-minute solo piece now at the Union Square Theater. Beaty portrays six black males in Harlem, ranging from a 10-year-old boy scientist to a 60-year-old overweight diabetic bishop with a passion for HoHos. With a supple voice and a quick change of posture, Beaty breathes life into each character and reveals the pressures each faces as an urban black male. How the characters are connected gradually becomes apparent as the show progresses. Some of the speeches turn into poems and even songs. The simple white-slat set is complemented by video projections to mark scene changes. Some sections of the play were extremely moving, while others seemed facile. While the whole impressed me less than its parts, the show was worthwhile for the opportunity to see a very talented actor displaying his craft.

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