Master Harold and The Boys is playing at Signature Theatre located at 480 West 42nd Street. It runs one hundred minutes with no intermission. The play closes on December 4, 2016.
It was first produced in March 1982 at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The play went to plat at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in May 1985 and ran for 344 performances.
At the 1982 production Willie was played by Danny Glover. It won a Drama Desk Award in 1982 for outstanding new play.
Sahr Ngaujah received a Tony and Lawrence Olivier nomination in 2008 for Fela.
Susan Hilferty is the costume designer. She won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in2004 for Wicked.
The play takes place in the provincial South African town of Port Elizabeth in 1950. It is late afternoon to evening. It is raining.
Willie (Sahr Ngaujah) is cleaning up. In between dancing Sam (Leon Addison Brown) is giving him instructions on how to improve his ball room dancing. Sam is entering a ball room contest in two weeks.
When Hally (Noah Robbins) comes into the restaurant he asks Sam where his mother is? Sam replies his mother got a call from the hospital where his father is a patient. Hally gets upset, his father may be coming home. He is an alcoholic.
Hally is supposed to be doing his homework. Sam picks up his books, reading from the book he asks Hally questions.
They recall things that happen between them when Hally was young.
Once Hally finds out his father is coming home he gets upset. Sam tries to calm him down. Instead he turns on Sam starting with that Sam should call him Master Harold from now on. He makes other racial overtures. Sam’s face show how hurt he is.
I found the beginning very slow but it built up momentum as it went on. It is worth seeing.
The cast was outstanding.
Leon Addison Brown did a remarkable job.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
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