BWW Review: LOOKING OVER PRESIDENT'S SHOULDER at Black Repertory Theatre Of Kansas City
"Looking Over the President's Shoulder" by James Still
Director of the Black Repertory Theatre, Damron R. Armstrong, has handed a huge challenge to the star of their latest show, who is none other than Armstrong himself! Armstrong's ambition pays off, however, with a fully realized storytelling of the man behind four different Presidents.
Still's story about "butler to the Presidents" (Alonzo Fields) is a fascinating story steeped in history and a rich slice of personal insight. Fields, the man was born in 1900 and at age 31 shelved his dream to become an opera singer to go to work at the White House. The grandson of a freed slave, who grew up in an all black community in Indiana, endured the hardship of the Great Depression while starting a family of his own.
Needing to put food on the table, Fields accepts the butler job and is quickly placed in a position of staff leadership. While serving Presidents Hoover, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower, Fields is faced with the dramatic changes of White House families, wars, and the march of changing times. This story, which inspired the 2013 movie "The Butler," is an inspiring and unique perspective.
Kansas City native Damron R. Armstrong's solo performance is a thing of beauty. Armstrong moves with ease from one storyline to the next as he covers the 21 years that Fields served the Presidents, and the nation. Armstrong regales the famous guests through the years including Winston Churchill, Marian Anderson, Errol Flynn and the king and queen of England from the perspective of the front row while he's watching the passing parade of history. Armstrong delivers the humor and pride of the man with obvious detail to a story only he can tell.
This "not-to-be-missed" show is appropriate for all audiences. I would encourage all who can to see Damron R. Armstrong's stirring performance at the beautiful Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. See this show and be once again patriotically inspired.
DATES: January 22 thru February 3, 2019
LOCATION: Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64130
TICKETS: $40 General Admission
High school and younger student tickets ($20) and Senior tickets ($30) will be available at the door.