BWW Review: COLLEGE COLORS at Crossroads is Richly Rewarding

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"This is not what I thought college was going to be like."

-College Colors

College Colors, a new comedy by Stacie Lents and directed by Kevin Kittle is having its World Premiere at Crossroads Theatre Company through February 14th. See this extraordinary show while it is on the New Brunswick Stage. It is a richly crafted, entertaining theatrical piece that is humorous, moving and important.

College Colors examines racism and racial identity on the American college campus through the experiences of two pairs of students. It is the turbulent 1960's, and Aaron, a serious-minded black student has a personality that contrasts with his new roommate Michael, an outgoing, white prep-school graduate. The campus has been recently integrated, and Aaron is a victim of degrading acts of prejudice while Michael tries to deal with their day-to-day relationship and his own issues.

The show also portrays a modern view of two young women. Tanya, a popular legacy student with a successful father, is deciding whether or not to pledge a black sorority. Her white roommate, Julie is a high-spirited, yet awkward and lonely girl who aspires to be Tanya's best friend. The girls seem to have little in common, and their personalities are hardly compatible.

The two pairs of students face challenges as they forge unique bonds and work to communicate. Dormitory rooms become the center of discovery as the young people navigate the meaning of loyalty. College Colors is cleverly presented as the scene changes quickly from Tanya and Julia's room to Aaron and Michael's. You will wonder what is going to happen next as these young people are exposed to newly found freedoms in college. College Colors is a true exploration of youth, growth, acceptance and unexpected bravery.

The show's five-person cast is absolutely ideal in their roles bringing the audience right into the college scene. College Colors features Gillian Mariner Gordon as Julie; Wakeema Hollis as Tanya; Andrew Manning as Aaron; Matt Maretz as Michael and Kevin Hilocks as both Jason and RJ. The company's excellent portrayal of the characters is often humorous but completely meaningful.

The creative team for College Colors has done an outstanding job of bringing the show to life with scenic design by Bethanie Wampol, costume design by Cathy Homa-Rocchio, lighting and production design by Douglas Macur, sound design by Matt Bittner, props design by Sadae Hori and fight direction by Rick Sordelet. The Production Stage Manager is Melanie Aponte.

College Colors is an original gem of a show, a richly rewarding piece of theatre for metropolitan area audiences. It will be performed at Crossroads Theatre through February 14th. The theatre is located at 7 Livingston Avenue in the heart of New Brunswick's vibrant arts district. Performances are 8 p.m., Feb. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13; 10 a.m., Feb. 10 and 3 p.m., Feb. 7, 13, 14. Tickets are $45. Call (732) 545-8100 or purchase online at www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org.

About Crossroads Theatre

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Marshall Jones II is Crossroad's Producing Artistic Director. Amie Bajalieh, is the theatre's Associate Producer.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Crossroads Theatre



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From This Author Marina Kennedy