BWW Review: Book-It's Beautifully Touching THE BROTHERS K, PART TWO is a Must See

Riley Shanahan in
The Brothers K, Part Two at Book-It
Photo credit: Chris Bennion.

Dear Readers, if you read my review for Part One of "The Brothers K", still playing at Book-It Repertory Theatre then you'll know the difficulties I had watching it what with all the onion cutting going on in the theater. Well last night with the premiere of "The Brothers K, Part Two: The Left Stuff" the onions were there in force along with tons of dust, pollen and cats. Must have been the case as the tears were flowing all night long. With just more of the same goodness from Part One, Part Two solidified just how good this story and this production is.

We rejoin the story with Mama and Papa Chance (Alexandra Tavares and Gavin Hoffman) taking care of the remaining Chance kids still at home, Kade, Bet and Freddy (Spencer Hamp, Annika Nori and Rebecca Anne Love) but now also in the mix is Irwin's new wife Linda (Marissa Castillo) and their baby Nash. The rest of the Chance brothers are scattered across the globe with Irwin (Riley Shanahan) off fighting in Vietnam, Everett (Christopher Morson) living in Canada to avoid the draft and Peter (Trevor Cushman) studying in India.

Alexandra Tavares with the ensemble of
The Brothers K, Part Two At Book-It
Photo credit: Chris Bennion

Now if you think, with that setup, you know where this story is going to go, as I did, then you would be wrong. David James Duncan's entrancing story takes you on a rich and unpredictable journey. And the adaptation and direction from Myra Platt is nothing short of elegant storytelling weaving a beautiful tapestry of overcoming struggles through love and family. And yes, as much as you needed the tissues ready for Part One you'll need them even more for Part Two.

Gavin Hoffman, Alexandra Tavares, and
Riley Shanahan in The Brothers K, Part Two
Photo credit: Chris Bennion.

The cast is back and of course still as amazing as they were in Part One along with a few wonderful new faces. Tavares and Hoffman continue to deliver some incredibly powerful, raw and honest performances. Cushman is delightful as he goes through his turmoil in India only to step up as a force of nature once home. Morson once again manages to deliver some thoughtful and complex performances as the wandering draft dodger. And Shanahan completely blew me away with his layered and riveting performance of a man struggling between his faith and his duty. And I must mention a few of the new performers outstanding turns such as Sunam Ellis' hilariously bold performance as Everett's new friend Yulie and the beautifully entrancing monologue from Solomon Davis as one of Papa's teammates.

This part is just as powerful and superb as the first part and even more so. As much as I was affected and weeping seeing this part a week after seeing the first I can only imagine how powerful it will be for those seeing it on the days where they perform both halves back to back. And so, as I predicted in the previous review, this part has only solidified how amazing this show is and earned it a weepy but happy WOW, my highest rating with my three letter rating system. It's simply a sublime story from a superb cast and crew and must not be missed. But bring tissues.

"The Brothers K, Part Two: The Left Stuff" performs along with Part One at the Center Theatre through June 26th. For tickets or information contact the Book-It box office at 206-216-0833 or visit them online at www.book-it.org.

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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