Slave Play is at the John Golden Theatre located at 252 West 45th Street. It runs two hours with no intermission. The play closes on January 19, 2020.
Clint Ramos is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for costumes in 2016 for Eclipsed and was nominated for two Tony Awards for costumes for Torch Song (2019) and Once On This Island (2018).
When the play begins the whole stage is all mirrors. As the characters come out it is a door.
We are on a plantation before the Civil War, Virginia.
Kaneisha (Joaquina Kalukango) come out with broom and sweeps the floor for a while. When she hears music, she starts dancing shaking her booty. Jim (Paul Alexander Nolan) comes out. She address’s him as master. He corrects her and tells her he is the overseer of plantation. They have sex behind the mirror door.
The middle door opens and there is a canopy bed. Alana (Annie McNamara) is the mistress of the mansion. She is on the bed and calls Phillip (Sullivan Jones). He is one of the household slaves. She orders him to play music, he plays Beethoven. Alma wants him to play the music he does for outside slaves. One thing leads to another and they have sex.
Dustin (James Cusati-Moyer) is delivering bales of cotton Gary (Ato Blankson-Wood) orders Justin around the yard. They have sex.
The second part is group therapy session. Tea (Chalia La Tour) and Alana (Annie McNamara) lead the group.
They are there to help them find out why they are unable to experience pleasure. The three couples are Kaneisha (Black) and Jim (White), Alana (White) and Phillip (Black) and Gary (Black) and Dustin (White). This is to help the Black partner feel pleasure again with their white spouse.
At times things get heated up. The group breakup.
Kaneisha in her room when Jim comes. She tries to explain how she feels. They have sex.
The first part was interesting. When it came to the group meeting there were times when I couldn’t hear what was being said. It was hard to understand what was going on. It may have been my seats were in neverland. But still? The audience laughed at things I didn’t find funny.
The cast did an impressive performance.
But I didn’t enjoy the show.
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 shows.