White Noise is playing at the Public Theatre located at 425 Lafayette. It runs three hours fifteen minutes with one intermission. The play closes on April 21, 2019.
Suzan-Lori Parks is the playwright. She won a Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Top Dog/ Under Dog (2002).
Toni-Leslie James is the costume designer. She was nominated for two Tony Awards for Jitney (2017) and Jelly’s Last Jam (1992).
Daveed Diggs is known for his role of Marquise Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical Hamilton. He won a Grammy Award and Tony Award for this role in 2015. He left the musical in 2016.
Thomas Sadoski was nominated for a Tony Award I 2009 for Reasons to be Pretty.
Leo (Daveed Diggs) is sitting in a chair reflecting why he can’t sleep. He was okay until he was five. Someone in his church told him the sun was dying and it would always be dark. He got thru grade school, high school and college with little sleep. He is a painter and hasn’t painted in a while. Since he can’t sleep he goes outside to walk around.
Leo is African American and his roommate Dawn (Zoe Winters) a lawyer is white.
Dawn wonders where Leo is in the morning. When he come his face a mess, scrape and bruised. He tells her when he was out walking last night a police car stop and the officer pushed him to the ground. Dawn says let’s sue, Leo wants to forget it. But he can’t. Leo asks Dawn to marry him but she doesn’t answer.
Meanwhile his best friend Ralph (Thomas Sadoski) is having his own problems. He is a teacher and expecting a promotion. He was told it was okay he hadn’t had anything published in a while He’s ranting about the other guy especially about his skin color. His girlfriend Misha (Sheria Irving) once a week on Thursday does a live pod cast from their home called “Ask A Black”. She talks in a sassy way and swing her hips. When she finished she is a totally different women. Ralph is White, Misha is African American. Ralph tells her what happen.
The four were friends in college. Before Leo & Misha and Ralph and Dawn were couples. The guys were on a bowling team at college. The couples get together once a week at night to bowl and drink.
Leo is depressed. He comes up with an idea that he will be Ralphs slave for forty days. Ralph will be his master and protect him. After much discussion they sign a contact. Leo tells Ralph and the ladies to keep it a secret.
They mark the wall as the days go by so we know how many days are left.
Mish and Dawn are living together. They use to sneak away from their partners to have sex. Dawn wants to make it permanent. Misha doesn’t.
Leo is able to sleep and paint again . Ralph gets more cocky and joins a group who boosters his confidence. Misha show is now on every day for forty days. Dawn has a cast of a guy accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Each character tells as about themselves like their childhood, who they are now and who they will be after the forty days are over. Leo disappears for five days after an incident involving Ralph. Ralph tells him he owes him five days.
It’s an interesting play on how what happens when we are young influences who we are when we grow up. But it is very long play with a lot of details to absorb. Act 1 is one hour fifteen minutes and the second act is one hour thirty five minutes. It’s a great play but I think it would be better if shortened.
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.