REVIEW: Skeleton Crew

The highly anticipated production of Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW opened Wednesday night at Ensemble Cincinnati.  Here’s a synopsis:

“Times are tough in 2008 Detroit as a hundred-year-old industry grinds to a halt. As rumors fly about factory closings, a tight-knit trio of autoworkers face tough decisions about the future, while their foreman weighs the demands of white-collar management status against his fierce loyalty to his team. From the playwright of Detroit ‘67 comes a powerful and compelling portrait of courage and camaraderie in blue-collar America.”

Burgess Byrd plays “Faye” and her comic vulnerability while dancing on stage is a crowd-pleasing moment.  Ernasija Curry is the pregnant and hard-working “Shanita” and Amari Cheatum (“Dez”) handles his angsty, desperate character with rawness and power.  For me, the most believable actor in the show is Brian Marable, “Reggie,” who does a nice job inhabiting his character completely.  I found him grounded and sincere at all times and he grasped the rhythm and cadence of the language in the script completely.

As usual, the team at Ensemble Theatre creates an authentic world for these characters to inhabit.  The set, the lights, the costumes, the transitional dance videos – it all comes together nicely and guest director Stori Ayers keeps the pace moving despite the slow build in the action.

It really is a well-written play and one that should be experienced by everyone so that we don’t forget about this generation of people who worked so hard for so long.

SKELETON CREW runs through May 11th.  Click here to buy tickets – Easter Sunday in particular has some great seats available.