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Review: SOPHISTICATED NEW ONES at Unexpected Stage Company

Running through July 3.

Review: SOPHISTICATED NEW ONES at Unexpected Stage Company

Sophisticated New Ones, written by well versed television actor, writer and show creator Keith Powel is not a throw away play. Set in the time leading up to President Barack Obama's first election, this story centers an antique repair shop owned and operated by a divorce' and her adult son. It explores the conflict between what one has to give up in order to move forward. It's directed by Unexpected Stage Company board member and stage veteran, Dawn Thomas Reidy.

Upon entering Fireside Room of the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building in Bethesda, MD. surprising design choices make you feel like you're walking through an actual antique shop. Piles and shelves of "stuff" blend into seating making audience members feel like flies on the wall or even antiques in the shop.

Lloyd Ekpe's Satcher is grounded and hyper-focused with an emotional depth that is scary to witness but also one that I wouldn't dare look away from. Lisa Hill-Corley plays Avery with the distant politeness of a shop owner who has all but given up until she meets H, played by DeJeanette Horne who has become smitten with Avery after witnessing her in a seemingly private moment through the shop window. H switches back and forth between being a bumbling idiot to having the smooth eloquence of a poet and is eventually able to pierce through Avery's comfortable facade at which point the essence of a completely different character shines through. There is an enjoyable dynamic between the witty banter of mother and son and the physical comedy that creates a closeness between Hill-Corley and Horne.

The show comes to a dramatic climax and eventually rolls on into an uncertain albeit hopeful future and is ultimately quiet in moments and thunderous in others. It is both funny and filled with emotion as well as a gem in the way it encapsulates a moment in American Life.

From This Author - Martrese Meachum