Speakupwny.com
Buffalo News, Forums and Opinions
Live Forums and Blogs | Onlinebuffalo.com | Erie County | City of Buffalo 

Last Updated: May 19th, 2017 - 13:16:08 

Speakupwny.com 
Development
Editorials
Education
WNY News
Government Waste
Labor & Management
Letters to the Editor
Local Opinions
Local WNY Websites
New Government Structure
Politics
Preservation
Press Releases
Taxes and Fees
WNY Health
WNY Business
Reviews
Buffalo Sports
Insiders Corner



Reviews
Custom Search


THE OLD SETTLER Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center
By
May 19, 2017, 13:13
Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Through May 28
THE OLD SETTLER Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center

Bright lights and big city is the old seduction, probably back to when the big city had a few hundred people where the Tigris and the Euphrates joined.
This is set in wartime Harlem, as an older woman, an Old Settler in neighborhood parlance for a spinster, struggles to survive and enjoy life.
It is wartime, but playwright John Henry Redwood’s “The Old Settler” has World War II playing almost no role in the lives of four people surrounded by poverty and struggle.
Elizabeth Borny (Mary Craig) is getting by renting rooms in her apartment, with her annoying sister Quilly McGrath (Debbi Davis) living with her.
They are refugees from the worst of the Jim Crow South.
Needing a tenant, Elizabeth takes the recommendation from some church people and rents to a visitor from Down South, Husband Witherspoon (Johnny Rowe).
He’s come North to meet Lou Bessie Preston (Courtney Turner) and head back home with her.
The problem is that Lou Bessie has been seduced by the urban life of Harlem and Manhattan and, as Charmane, has no desire to go back to the old ways in the old town.
Elizabeth and Quilly can see that but Husband doesn’t get it.
The rest of the story is constantly shifting personal dynamics, as people adjust to changing times.
Redwood spent most of his adult life as an actor, with a sideline as a playwright.
It shows here, as the play works, for its story and for the roles director Craig is working with.
This is real life, perhaps based on some stories the playwright heard.
You may remember this show from a production in the old Studio Arena Theatre, back in 2000.
The show has its painful moments, especially Elizabeth and Quilly trying to work out their tortured personal relationship.
The fools in the play are Husband and Charmane, neither able to completely understand how they became what they are, how they don’t understand.
All four roles are well done, on a strong set from Harlan Penn and with Annette L. Christian’s costumes.
Charmane’s costumes are in counterpoint to Husband’s rural farmer clothes, constantly making the point of their developing differences.
It’s those little touches combined with Redwood’s script which make this such a strong production, obviously with the four cast performances.
That’s why “The Old Settler” is a play really worth seeing, a look at a clash of societies, urban and rural and across racial lines.

A.W.

© Copyright 2017 - Speakupwny.com
hosted by Online Media, Inc
Buffalo Web Design and Web Hosting

Top of Page

Buffalo Theatre District
Reviews
Latest Headlines
THE OLD SETTLER Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center
A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE
KALAMAZOO
THE COUNTRY HOUSE Road Less Traveled Theatre/RLTP Theatre
THE GREAT GOD PAN Jewish Repertory Theatre/Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre
THE FATHER Kavinoky Theatre
THE CEMETERY CLUB O'Connell & Company/Park School
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College
THE DANCE OF DEATH Studio Theatre/Shaw Festival
SWEENEY TODD:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Festival Theatre/Shaw Festival
MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS Court House Theatre/ Shaw Festival
BREATH OF KINGS: REBELLION AND BREATH OF KINGS: REDEMPTION Tom Patterson Theatre/Stratford Festival
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE Festival Theatre/Shaw Festival
ENGAGED Royal George Theatre/Shaw Festival
THE ADVENTURES OF THE BLACK GIRL IN HER SEARCH FOR GOD Court House Theatre/Shaw Festival



Buffalo Web hosting and Buffalo Web Design By OnLineMedia, Inc
www.olm1.com

Part of
www.onlinebuffalo.com