Sunday, July 15, 2012

Theatre in the City - The Scottsboro Boys

Scottsboro Boys - TicketMijo and I saw The Scottsboro Boys at the American Conservatory Theatre three weeks ago and I thought I should post this blog before the show closes on July 22nd.

We totally loved this half live theatre half musical considering how serious the theme of this production really is. The cast was able to entertain wildly while sharing a sad chapter in American history.

Scottsboro Boys - American Conservatory TheatreThe Scottsboro Boys were nine African American teenage boys  who were falsely accused of rape by two white prostitutes in Alabama in 1931. Just imagine being black, being falsely accused of a severe crime and living in circa 1931 in the South?

I enjoyed the play slash musical for its entertaining songs, the quality of the performance, and the imaginative scenes some of which were comical.  The songs were hypnotizing especially the parts where the cast sang in harmony. I can just listen to them all evening long. Now imagine this with a lot of explosive dancing in some of the  scenes? I remember the tap dancing was really good too. A few in the cast played various other characters where the roles even transcend gender and race. There is something so refreshing seeing black actors playing the role of the two white women Victoria Price and Ruby Bates and also the roles of the corrupt white jail guards, lawyers and judges. [This reminds me of the Asian Billy Elliot in San Francisco.]Scottsboro Boys - Critics Agree

I thought that was very imaginative. Though it might have raised some eyebrows in the crowd. 

I noticed too that the main props were steel chairs that were used as chairs in the courtroom during the trials and were reused as jail cells, train cars, detention cell and electric chair. I thought that was very resourceful!

Scottsboro Boys - The End
The cast delivered a solid performance in my opinion. JC Montgomery was great as a the New York lawyer named Samuel Leibowitz. He also played other characters like Deputy Tambo, Lawyer Tambo, and Guard Tambo.

I also like the infusing of Three-Stooges like acts to mellow down what would otherwise be a very serious theme. The slapsticks were funny too, though some people in audience may have issues with the jokes.

The Scottsboro Boys runs for a little less than two hours with no intermission. The show ends on July 22, 2012. 


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