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The Brothers Size
The Brothers Size
by Tarell Alvin McCraney
directed by Darryl V. Jones
September 24 – October 15, 2016
Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson San Francisco Map It
Two brothers, the Louisiana bayou, and West African mythology swirl together in this treasured theatrical event that will leave you breathless. A hot-blooded, music-filled drama from one of the country’s most exciting queer African-American voices.
In the Louisiana bayou, big brother Ogun Size is hardworking and steady. Younger brother Oshoosi is just out of prison and finding himself. The wily Elegba, Oshoosi’s old prison-mate, is a mysterious and seductive complication. A simple circle defines a world that begins in ritual and evolves into a tough and tender drama of what it means to be a brother by birth and to be a brother out of desire.
Flights of poetry, music, dance and West African mythology combine in a contemporary tale that explores the tenuousness of freedom and the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone.
“THE BROTHERS SIZE [is] a vivid slice of bayou life! Darryl V. Jones directs the 100-minute piece with humor, nuance and economy, and the actors — attractive, athletic and sometimes shirtless… give vivid, human performances. They nicely interpret McCraney’s often theatrical piece, handling the poetry and spirituality (the characters’ names are based on deities worshiped by the Yoruba people of Africa) with finesse!”
“You’re unlikely to encounter another cast anytime soon with the consuming fearsomeness on view in Theatre Rhino’s production of THE BROTHERS SIZE. The trio of actors now embodying the play at the Eureka Theatre makes the experience feel entirely fresh. The cast is a potent force both as an ensemble and at establishing fully differentiated personalities.”
“With THE BROTHERS SIZE, McCraney does an excellent job of depicting the impact of institutionalized racism on a trio of individuals through impactful dialog, imaginative Yoruba-inspired dance sequences and powerful musical moments, expertly performed by all three actors. Oshoosi actor Gabriel Christian’s masterful rendition of Otis Redding’s soul classic ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ is an excellent example of this.”
“A powerful production! A powerful piece of theatre! The three-man ensemble performing THE BROTHERS SIZE for Theatre Rhinoceros is at once engaging, yet distancing as they seem locked in a world of their own troubles. While Gabriel Christian (Oshoosi) and Julian Green (Elegba) deliver strong performances, the evening’s dramatic weight rests on the shoulders of LaKeidrick S. Wimberly who, as Ogun, often seems to breathe fire.”
“No play in the city right now sounds quite as good as THE BROTHERS SIZE. The easygoing poetry of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s dialog could lull you into closing your eyes and just listening the whole way through. Most of the beauty of THE BROTHERS SIZE falls on the ear, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the play isn’t worth watching. A lot of stories turn on potentially trite aphorisms about chasing your dreams; in this case, you’re invited to wonder whether dreams ever chase you back.”
“Stunning! Tarell Alvin Mccraney’s Remarkable THE BROTHERS SIZE Opens Theatre Rhino’s 39th Season. A Celebration Of Strength Of And Discovery, THE BROHTERS SIZE [is] A New [Type of] American Theatre, And A Must See. McCraney’s script works so well with its rhymed dialogue, poetic underpinnings and mythological symbolism. The believable characters are filled with pathos and complexity. THE BROTHERS SIZE is one of those gems of contemporary theatre that brings a new wing to the craft of the stage. Jones directs with a masterful sensitivity and adds to the rising emotion of McCraney’s drama without overstepping. The three actors Wimberly, Christian, and Green are each unforgettable and equally dynamic in their roles This is a perfect example of what theater can invoke and inspire when everything is so well written and brilliant. Flights of poetry, music, dance and West African mythology explore the need to belong somewhere, to something, or to someone. These brothers are must see, and Tarell Alvin McCraney is truly one of our new powerful millennial playwrights. Theatre Rhinoceros continues to stage the best, thought provoking new plays in the Bay Area.”
“Intense! Moving! Its haunting mixture of music and movement combines with scenes of high emotional exploration of the boundaries to which love can be pushed and still survive. With a cast of three, highly talented actors… Theatre Rhinoceros presents THE BROTHERS SIZE [in] a moving, thought-provoking rendition. Well-worth a visit to the Eureka Theatre!”
“Muscular! Dynamic! A gritty, muscular story of brotherly love amidst present day racism. The honed physical bodies of the actors are perfect for this powerful, well-constructed play that fits together perfectly and has the audience reacting with thunderous applause. An added symbolic circle created by an unbroken length of chain dominates center stage, occasionally delineating or suggesting mythology. All this with rat-a-tat beats interspersed with atmospheric music and lighting create an almost perfect milieu for McCraney’s play.”
“Theatre Rhinoceros offers a compelling rendering of McCraney’s three hander, THE BROTHERS SIZE. Director Darryl V. Jones integrates production elements well. With only three actors… [Jones] does organize significant movement. A well choreographed stomp dance raises the energy level, and both soundtrack and live singing add a dimension. [A] meaningful tale, written and produced with great heart.”
“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… It feels like a biblical and mythical fable… 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.”
Interview with Executive Director John Fisher
Interviews with Director Darryl V. Jones
- Hear an interview with Director Darryl V. Jones on the Michelle Meow Show!
- Listen to Darryl on “Let me Touch Your Mind” with Marilynn Fowler (his interview starts at about a minute into the recording)