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Review: EVERYBODY at The Alliance

Review: EVERYBODY at The Alliance

Everybody is on the Coca-Cola Stage until October 2nd

The Alliance Theatre's season opener, EVERYBODY, by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, is on the Coca-Cola Stage until October 2, 2022. Co-directed by Susan V. Booth and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, this productions marks the final production of Booth as the Alliance Theatre's Jennings Hertz Artistic Director.

The New York Times says Jacobs-Jenkins is "one of this country's most original and illuminating writers" and DC Theatre Scene and The New Yorker describe EVERYBODY as a "sunny, stunning journey from life to death" that "fills the heart in a new and unexpected way." Written as in homage to the 15th center play EVERYMAN, EVERYBODY is a play that explores life's purpose through the journey of the dying. There are five ensemble that rotate the protagonist role of Everybody as the actors are assigned their roles every production by lottery and before the audience meaning each of them are capable of performing one of the five parts in any show. For this conceit, there are 120 possible role combinations, which makes it unlikely that a show will include the same role combinations more than once.

The cast includes a poignantly caustic and witty Andrew Benator as Death, the enticingly grounded Shakirah DeMesier as Love, an energetic Skylar Ebron as Girl/Time, a powerful performance as Deidrie Henry as Usher/God/Understanding; and the engaging and endearing Brandon Burditt, Chris Kayser, Courtney Patterson, Bethany Anne Lind, and Joseph J. Pendergrast as the Somebodies collective. Production understudies include Soleia Howington, Parris Sarter, and Dellan Short.

The creative team has successfully executed the challenge of manifesting an immersive vision on a permanently proscenium venue and turned the theater into a multi-media production staged partially in the round. They include Scenic and Costume Designer Lex Liang, Projection Designer Milton Cordero, Lighting Designer Thom Weaver, Sound Designer Melanie Chen Cole, and Fight Coach Connor Hammond; as well as Associate Set Designer Seamus Bourne and Associate Costume Designer Laury Conley. The production support team includes Stage Manager Anna Baranski.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's EVERYBODY is a beautiful reminder that in the end, even with your faculties about you, your deeds and your love are all that go with you to the grave--that is, if you can manage to accept them. Alliance's ambitious production runs for just another week. Get your tickets now while you can.

Photo Credit: Greg Mooney


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