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Joe Turner's Come and Gone Theatre Review

By Staff Writer

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August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" now at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown Los Angeles

It’s the turn of the twentieth century, Seth Holly (Keith David) is still scheming on how to break free of his boss and start his own metal works business. Self assured and tenacious, Seth already does quite well for himself, running a modest boarding house with his wife Bertha (Lillias White). For two dollars a week, the boarding house has seem it’s fair share of usually customers. Bynum Walker (Glynn Turman) is the local conjurer, a friend of the family for years and known in the community as the man you go to when you need a little extra help, a little supernatural need. Finally, while Bynum helps folks through less tangible means, his white counter part Rutherford Selig (Raynor Scheine) is known as the finder. For one dollar helping people and family reconnect.

 

August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" now at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown Los Angeles

 

The Holly’s tenants include Jeremy Furlow (Gabriel Brown) works in construction, and its great work if you can get it. He loves his women and his guitar. He has a lot in common with new tenant Molly Cunningham (Vivian Nixon), a young woman of means from the south who has no intention of ever returning. They are both free spirited folks and attracted to each other because of that likeness. Mattie Campbell (January Lavoy) finds her way to the boarding house in search of Bynum. Her man Jack Carper has gone astray and enlists the help of the conjurer to make her man stop wondering. While she’s there she runs into Jeremy who invites her to “be with him” while she is waiting for her man to return. Now, Jeremy is playing both sides of the field.

 

August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" now at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown Los Angeles

 

One fine August day, Herald Loomis (John Douglas Thompson) arrives at she boarding house, wit his young daughter Zonia (Skye Barrett). Literally shrouded in darkness, Loomis brings an air or mystery and danger to the home. For three years, with daughter in tow, he has been searching for his wife who left him after the famous slave hunter Joe Turner captured him. But he is determined to find her. While no one at the boarding house mentions it to him directly, they are fairly sure they know who and where is his wife, but should they say so. While Loomis seems to trudge through life, wallowing him his own misery, his daughter finds friendship in the neighbor boy Reuben Mercer (Nathaniel James Potvin)

 

August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" now at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown Los Angeles

 

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is a sometimes complicated, sometimes sweet story by August Wilson. It depicts the growing pains experienced by northern Blacks and the newly emancipated southern blacks as the young nation tries to put the stench and stigma of slavery behind them. It’s explores the role of black men in particular and strives to divine how men of that age define their worth: money, women, their commitment to family. This production is both haunting and funny, with extraordinary performances by Glynn Turman and Keith David as Seth & Bynum respectively.

The Center Theatre Group’s production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone will be up and running through June 9, 2013 at@:

Mark Taper Forum
at the Music Center 
downtown Los Angeles

135 N. Grand Ave. 
Los Angeles, CA 90012 

for Ticket information call: 213.628.2772

centertheatergroup.org

Published on May 09, 2013

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