By TANYA BARFIELD
Directed by WALTER DALLAS
On the Arcadia Stage
January 14 - March 21, 2010
If you've ever peered into your past, this story will resonate with you.
Lewis is a successful mathematics professor whose wife has just left him on the eve of the Million Man March. So begins his sleepless night where a series of ancestors visit to reveal the hardships and victories that have shaped their lives.
Lyrical, funny and poignant, Lewis's journey is a thought provoking window into the soul of one man grappling at the intersection of his own identity and his cultural history.
The Arden welcomes back acclaimed director Walter Dallas who helmed The Piano Lesson in 2008. This production features Kes Khemnu (Boy Willie, The Piano Lesson; Macon, Gee's Bend) and marks Johnnie Hobbs, Jr.'s Arden debut.
Recommended for 9th grade and older.
"A forceful Arden Theatre Company production boasting two high-voltage performances and staging by veteran director Walter Dallas…an absorbing and at times amusing portrayal by the polished actor Johnnie Hobbs Jr…. the remarkable Kes Khemnu has the power to bring an audience immediately into the moment, whether from the last century or the century before. The words and images Barfield uses in Blue Door
are tightly constructed and woven into a rich and graphic fabric." –Philadelphia Inquirer
"What do you get when you combine brilliant writing, inspired staging and two accomplished actors who are absolutely on fire? The Arden’s production of Tanya Barfield’s Blue Door
,… Barfield, through her extraordinary gift as a storyteller and her engaging writing style, incorporates quite a bit of humor into certain situations, making use of Hobbs’ dry wit and Khemnu’s natural comedic ability. [Director Walter] Dallas, who is very familiar with Hobbs and Khemnu, could not have made better choices for this intriguing two-man drama. Simultaneously thought provoking, funny and heart-wrenching, Blue Door
could cause even the most secure among us to do some soul searching."
Remarkably moving and impressive performance…The power of both actors' performances enhances the both the comedy and poignancy of Tanya Barfield's writing. What makes this play unique is playwright Barfield's ability to take a very unique experience and make it universal. Blue Door
is not simply about an African American heritage, but globally about acknowledging your own past.
An acting showcase. Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. is excellent as Lewis…Kes Khemnu plays all the other roles, and he's simply dazzling as he moves from character to character and voice to voice, sometimes within the same sentence. Each character is distinctive, intriguing and heartbreaking. –Talkin’ Broadway
These two fine actors pace and circle each other with curious attraction, and the emotional connection between them is palpable. –Icon
Behind the Scenes–
The Courier Times/Intelligencer
talks with actor Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. about the power of the question: Who am I? [Article