BWW Reviews: THE BROTHERS SIZE at the Everyman Theatre - Altogether Refreshing
The Brothers Size (about two brothers named Size) has a simple premise.
The names of the charactes are taken from West African Yoruban mythology. There's Ogun, the Strong; Oshoosi, the Wanderer; and Elegba the Trickster.
Ogun has an automobile repair business and brings in his brother Oshoosi who has returned from time in prison to help in his shop. But Oshoosi has no interest in the job. He longs to sleep late and get a car to impress women and drive somewhere far away.
While in prison, Oshoosi had a relationship with Elegba. After his release from prison, Elegba shows up at the shop. He presents Oshoosi with the fact that he has a vehicle, but he can't drive. Before you know it, Elegba has "tricked" Oshoosi into driving the car. It's a trap that Oshoosi does not envision. Before you know it, Oshoosi is fleeing from the police
Ogun's advice to his brother...leave the country. He gives Oshoosi his car and off Oshoosi goes to start a new life.
It's such a simple story and it has received almost universal accolades.
The play was presented in 2007 at New York's Public Theatre's Under the Radar Festival - a platform for unknown writers. At time, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney was a third-year student at the Yale School of Drama.
The highlight of the evening is when the brothers sing Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness". The song demonstrates the loving bond the brothers have. I wish there was more of this to show the possibilities of their relationship.
The use of the actors delivering their own stage directions seems like a gimmick. Is it really necessary to tell the audience as Ogun goes under a table "Ogun goes under the car" and then as comes out from the under the table, he adds, "Ogun comes out from under the car"?
The actors are all superb. Yaegel T. Welch as Ogun is strong in his role. Chinaza Uche plays the troublesome brother Oshoosi and Powell Lawrence is the trickster Elegba. They all give powerful performances under Director Derek Goldman.
I compliment Artistic Director Vince Lancisi for bringing this "different" play to Baltimore/Washington audiences. Lancisi adds, "It's a new voice, a new style, a new form of storytelling that is captivating and filled with humanity." It may not be for everybody but it sure was interesting to watch.
The Brothers Size continues until April 15, 2012.
There will be a post-show talk back discussion with the cast on Thursday, April 12.
For tickets, call 410-752-2208 or at www.everymantheatre.org.
Get a Sneak Peak at the NEW Everyman Theatre
Everyman Theatre's annual gala celebration to support education and community engagement, SALUT! 2012, A Final Dress, will be on Saturday, April 14, 2012.
From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. get a glimpse of the Everyman's new home on 315 W. Fayette Street.
Then the celebration continues across the street at the M&T Bank Pavilion at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St. unitil 11 p.m. There'll be cocktails, food, dancing and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $250.
Next at the Everyman
Photo: Yaegel T. Welch and Chinaza Uche by Stan Barouh