BWW Review: PASS OVER at Luna Stage is an Intense and Important Story for Our Times
"There ain't gonna be no jail, no plantation, no ghetto."
By Moses in Pass Over
Pass Over, a new play by Antoinette Nwandu is now at Luna Stage through March 1. This compelling show is directed by Devin E. Haqq and features the finest acting and staging. The play was first performed at Steppenwolf in Chicago, where it was filmed by Spike Lee and became the subject of press controversy. Pass Over proceeded to be produced at Lincoln Center where it was awarded the prestigious 2019 Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Play. This is a story for our times. It depicts the overwhelming struggles faced by African Americans in our country's ghettos.
Pass Over tells of two young men, Moses and Kitch who live in dire circumstances on the streets. The long-time time friends talk of "getting off the block," and dream of their "Promised Land," a place with clean sheets, room service, gold chains, girlfriends, and sports cars. Oppression is in full view when a white man named Mister, who is reminiscent of a Southern plantation owner, wanders onto their block tempting Moses and Kitch with delicious foods. The men also endure physical and emotional intimidation at the hands of an aggressive white policeman. The play transcends the urban environment with its references to plantation life and slavery in Egypt. This is a story that is real and raw. Audiences will desperately hope that the young men's lives will change for the better, but it seems that their fate is beyond their power.
The three-person cast captures the drama of Nwandu's intense play. The company includes Kevis Hillocks as Moses; Robert Barnes as Kitch; and Woodrow Proctor in the roles of Mister and Ossifer. The portrayals are so convincing you will feel as though events are unfolding before your eyes. While most of the play depicts the stresses of inner city life, there are also some light, engaging moments that focus on the bonds between Moses and Kitch.
The Creative Team has done a remarkable job of bringing an authentic urban street to the West Orange stage. They include set design by Joo Kim; lighting design by Cameron Filepas; costume design by Deborah Caney; and sound design by Scott MacDonald. The Fight Director is Dan O'Driscoll; Stage Manager, Phillip Esposito; and Production Manager, Liz Cesario.
Now is the time for audiences to see Pass Over. It is a profound play that will inspire empathy and much needed dialogues about African American experiences. Get your tickets. The show is sure to sell out!
Pass Over will be performed through March 1. It is suggested for patrons, age 15 and older because of strong language and violence. The run time is 85 minutes with no intermission. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Luna Stage is located in the heart of the Valley Arts District at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ. Tickets are available by visiting https://www.lunastage.org/or by calling OvationTix at (866) 811-4111. For group sales, email email@example.com. Special pre- and post-show conversations with guest experts and members of the creative team are scheduled throughout the run. See the full schedule of events at https://www.lunastage.org/.
Photo Credit: Jody Christopherson