Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay


The Brothers Size
Theatre Rhinoceros
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of Pride and Prejudice, the Musical, Yellow Face, and King Charles III


LaKeidrick Wimberly, Gabriel Christian,
and Julian Green

Photo by Steven Ho
Theatre Rhinoceros is currently presenting a first-rate production of Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size with an outstanding cast of three brilliant actors. The Chicago Tribune called the play "the greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more." I am inclined to agree with that.

In The Brothers Size, it takes a little time to get used to the gritty language of the three men. It's straightforward and blunt and the writing is frank and fierce. At times it approaches poetry. McCraney's words have a linear narrative but it feels like a biblical and mythical fable.

The tale is a simple one, about two brothers and what unites and divides them. Oshoosi Size (Gabriel Christian) has been released from prison and has been taken into the care of his older brother Ogun who owns an auto body shop. Ogun (LaKeidrick S. Wimberly) tries to instill in Oshoosi the value of hard work and put him on the path of the straight and narrow. But Oshoosi is as lazy and foolish as his brother is productive and hard working. Conflict ensues with the arrival of ex-con Elegba (Julian Green), who looked after Oshoosi while he was in prison. Oshoosi dreams of desires of sex and excitement in the world he had missed while in prison, and Ogun is determined to get his brother concentrating on work in the body shop..

Director Darryl V. Jones has assembled three unequivocally fine actors. New York actor Gabriel Christian is outstanding as the naive Oshoosi. He grounds the drama, draws our sympathy, and skillfully holds much back until the climax of the play. Chicago actor LaKeidrick S. Wimberly gives a pitch perfect performance as Ogun. His performance throughout is excellent, but particularly in his monologue. Both have a penetrating and testy rapport in their confrontations. Julian Green, who trained at A.C.T. for three years, is awesome as the sinister Elegba. His portrayal is downright chilling at times, especially in how he is able to influence the credulous Oshoosi. He captures the sexuality of the character with his fine-looking, scandalously lissome movements. He captivates and interposes his performance every time he swaggers to the stage.

Scenic designer Margaret Adair MacCormack has devised a detailed auto body shot on the stage, while Wesley Rou's lighting is effective. Darryl V. Jones' direction is sharp and he gets the best out of the three actors.

The Brothers Size runs through October 15, 2016, at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street, San Francisco For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit therhino.org Coming up next is Peter Shaffer's Equus opening on November 25 and running through December 11.


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