BWW Review: FLY at Crossroads Through 4/17 is Brilliant Theatre
"May the clouds part for you and the wind be forever at your back."
FLY, a truly brilliant theatrical event, is now at Crossroads Theatre Company through Sunday, April 17th. Be sure to get your tickets now to this must-see show. With outstanding writing by the talented team of Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, it is masterfully directed by Kahn and enjoys fantastic choreography by Hope Clarke. Once again, Crossroads Theatre Company is gifting their audiences with theatre that is thought provoking and culturally significant.
In FLY, four young men, each with very distinctive personalities, are being trained to become the first African American Army Air Corp pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen or the "Red Tail Black Eagles." The trainees hail from different regions of the United States including a young man originally from the West Indies. The men form an imperfect brotherhood as they strive to prove themselves in spite of the racial prejudice of their white instructors and fellow pilots who question whether black men can succeed as military pilots. The flight training is demanding and the men also face the challenge of "a war to win and a world to save." FLY is told in flashbacks from the perspective of one of the black airmen on the day Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States. It is a truly inspiring story, with perfect touches of heart and humor, that pays tribute to the strength, intellect and bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Bravo to the stellar cast of FLY who bring their characters to full life on the New Brunswick stage. They are so authentic in their roles, you feel as though you are right there with them in the summer of 1943. The remarkably talented troupe includes Desmond Newson as Chet Simpkins; Brooks Brantly as W.W.; Terrell Wheeler as Oscar; Damian Thompson as J. Allen; Anthony J. Goes as Capt. O'Hurley; Brandon Nagle as Bomber Pilot Reynolds; Ross Cowan as Bomber Co-Pilot Shaw and Omar Edward as The Tap Griot. They capture the action and deliver the fast-paced, finely crafted dialogue seamlessly. The dance segments, thoughtfully integrated, illuminate the story perfectly.
The design team has done an outstanding job of bringing FLY to the New Brunswick stage and a true sense of the WWII era with scenic design by Beowulf Boritt; costume design by Toni-Leslie James; lighting design by Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot; sound design and orchestrations by John Gromada and projection design by Clint Allen. Marissa Bergman is the Props Master; Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly Sordelet are the Fight Directors and Omar Edwards is the Improvographer. Casting is by McCorkle Casting and Kelli Karen is the Production Stage Manager.
FLY was originally launched at Crossroads in 2009 and returns to the theatre from its successful bi-coastal tour that has taken it to the Pasadena Playhouse and the New Victory Theatre in New York City. The production is captivating from the very first minute to the final curtain call. Audiences will cherish this show.
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. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States.
Crossroads Theatre is located at 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick in the heart of the city's vibrant theatre and restaurant district. Tickets to Fly through Sunday, April 17th are now available. Call the theater at (732) 545-8100 or go online to www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org.
Photo Credit: Jim Cox