Pity Th Proud Ones: A Theatrical Review

by on January 31st, 2011
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Pity The Proud Ones: A Theatrical Review

When you’re in a dry, dusty, and lonely town, the weather is horrible, and you are trying to figure out how to make a living, a life, and a purpose for yourself, you need to understand first and foremost that you are merely human. If you are an entirely too proud and arrogant individual who has been unwilling to face your own internal demons, and you carry your anger and haughty attitude on your sleeve, you should be pitied.

Pity the Proud Ones deals with the stigmas of race, vocational choice, arrogance, and greed. Set in a time when brothels were the norm, yet businesses could be owned by people of color – though others could not know about that fact or they would not visit the establishment – this production struggles to take on multiple levels of racism, vocational choice, love, family relations, and inner turmoil, just to name a few issues. The production is written by students of the Robey Theatre Company and is performed in a drop stage theatre setting. The ideas are bold and interesting. The outcome is not too stellar. The truth of the matter is that a GREAT deal more work and theorizing needs to be done before this production is actually ready for the live stage.

With an interesting concept, and an unusual staging theory, this production has promise, but is not ready for consumer consumption, yet. I would like to applaud the effort and work that has gone into this production thus far, but as a writer, director, and producer myself, I must state that it is time to go back to the drawing board. Some of the key actors are simply overacting, obviously having had only acting theory or method acting training, which does not allow the characters to seem believable. The only performer who seems to have a real understanding of their character so overshadows all the others, that she unintentionally makes the rest of the cast look bad. (This is the reason that I shall not mention this performer’s name.)

Pity the Proud Ones is playing at the wonderful Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 4, which is located at 514 S. Spring Street in Los Angeles, CA 90013. The show runs through November 13, 2011, with performances Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sundays at 3PM. For reservations to see this production contact 866-811-4111, or log onto the web at www.robeytheatrecompany.com.

Randall Gray

The California Theatre Critic

Yahoo On-Line


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