BWW Review: SKELETON CREW at Actors Theatre Of Louisville
Madelyn Porter and Patrese D. McClain in SKELETON CREW. Photo by Bill Brymer.
Direction by Steve H, Broadnax III
Review by Taylor Clemons
Entire contents copyright © 2017 Taylor Clemons. All rights reserved.
As many remember, the housing crash of 2008 hit all of us as a nation hard, but few places were hit as hard as Detroit. Skeleton crew takes place in this time, and gives us a lens into the struggles and hardships that fell upon America's blue collar working class. We the audience are given a "fly on the wall" (quite literally) view point of the day to day goings on in the break room of a stamping plant. When rumors of potential firings and a closure start swirling, tensions are high, and everyone is on edge.
We first meet Faye (Madelyn Porter). Faye is a veteran worker at the plant, who has been paying her dues and is coming up on her 30th year with the company, and is looking forward to her eventual retirement. We then meet Shanita (Patrese D. McCain), a smart, witty, and youthful mother to be and hard worker who is trying to ensure the future of her unborn child. Soon after, Dez (Dexter McKinney Jr.) arrives, running late as usual. He's a young member of the workers union trying to earn his place. Finally, we meet Reggie (Anton Floyd). Reggie is the supervisor who oversees these employees. He's constantly trying to find common ground between his workers and his higher ups who he has to whom he has to answer.
The performances are uniformly outstanding. Every member of this small ensemble cast is in sync and the dynamic they create is awe inspiring. I must however single out Madelyn Porter's Faye. She's brassy, strong, and always heartfelt. She is the emotional core of the piece and never fails to have you hanging on her every word.
The show itself is written well enough. Morisseau creates rich and well defined characters paired with a story that creates high stakes for every character. My one quibble with the show itself is that, to me at least, the ending feels somewhat rushed, and unrealistically happy.
The set is simple but effective. Michael Carnhan transforms the stage of the Bingham into a convincingly run down break room. Having the audience on all four sides was a great choice, as you feel like you're a fly on the wall watching these very real characters' worlds go up in flames. Broadnax's direction is smooth and sharp.
All in all, SKELETON CREW is a wonderful dramatic play, and will leave you feeling satisfied. This production is top notch, and any theatre goer in Louisville should make a point of picking a date and catching this show.
SKELETON CREW Now - December 10, 2017
Actors Theatre of Louisville
316 W. Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Tickets: (502) 584-1205