Looking for Leroy is playing at Castillo Theater located at 543 West 42nd Street. It runs ninety minutes with no intermission. The play closes on March 31, 2019.
Amiri Baraka, previously known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Baraka was an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism. He was born on October 7, 1934 in Newark New Jersey and died there on January 9, 2014. Themes of his plays range from black liberation to white racism. His first play was Dutchman (1964) and the last was The Most Dangerous Man in America (2013).
The time is 2002 at the home and office of Amiri Baraka.
Taj (Tyler Fauntleroy) is at Baraka (Kim Sullivan) home to apply for an internship. He wants to be a playwright. Taj has suit and tie on. Baraka gives him the position with the understanding he not being paid and he is at his beck and call, also no suits.
Next time we see Taj he is wearing an African shirt. The lights will dim and when it comes back up it’s a different day (different clothes).
Baraka has written a play called The Most Dangerous Man in America. It is 250 pages and he won’t budge to make it less. Taj is there to help him.
Tai and Baraka challenge each other. Taj mentions the different plays that Baraka has written and makes a comment and Baraka responds. Baraka also mentions other playwrights and makes comments.
Taj mentions the play he has written and gives it to him to read. When he reads it he said nothing to Taj. When Taj questions him about the play his response is negative.
Baraka is frustrated about his play and how to condense it. He finally gets it down to fifty pages.
In the end Tai becomes his own man wearing what he wants, singing rap.
Baraka tells him he has potential of being a great playwright.
The play was interesting but I felt the first half was overwhelming with so many names of plays, Baraka different opinions and other playwrights. However the second half becomes exciting and enjoyable. There is more of an inter action with the characters. If you never heard of Baraka now is the time to find out.
Kim and Tyler do an outstanding performance. Tyler is a rising star I hope we see more of.
The set was admirable-love the windows which had tree with leaves and clouds. Chris Cumberbatch is the set designer.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other plays.