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  Native Son at Antaeus Theater

Native Son

Antaeus Theater
110 E. Broadway Glendale

Set in 1930s Chicago, where opportunities for African-American men are elusive, Kelley’s adaptation focuses on the inner workings of the protagonist’s mind as a series of unleashed events violently and irrevocably seal his fate.

Thru - Jun 3, 2018

Price: $15-$34

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 818-506-1983

  Native Son Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

LA Weekly - Recommended

"...The uniformly fine ensemble includes Victoria Platt as Bigger’s mom, a woman who has preserved her dignity despite the squalor and adversity that surround her; Brandon Rachal as his brother Buddy, the target of Bigger’s fits of rage; and Ned Mochel as a private investigator standing in for every lethal bigot who would deny Bigger his humanity. Arthur’s sly, slithery Rat is excellent."
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Deborah Klugman

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Director Chapman brilliantly creates a cohesive universe. The fusion of sound, image, movement, and performance makes it hard to single out the source of individual creative contributions. Scenic designer Edward E. Haynes Jr., scenic artist Orlando De La Paz, lighting designer Andrew Schmedake, costume designer Wendell C. Carmichael, sound designer Jeff Gardner, video designer Adam R. Macias, production manager and technical director Cuyler Perry, properties designer Jacquelyn Gutierrez, fight choreographer Bo Foxworth, music arrangers Dr. Joi Carr and Mr. Addison Doby, and dramaturg Dylan Southard-each is at the top of his, her, or their game."
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Samuel Garza Bernstein

Stage Scene LA - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lead performances are powerhouse and production design one of the year's most electrifying, but Richard Wright's 20th-century classic Native Son is ill-served at Antaeus Theatre Company by Nambi E. Kelley's 21st-century stage adaptation's temporal zigzags, sledgehammer approach to issues of race, and the addition of a "character" not found in the original novel."
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Steven Stanley

On Stage Los Angeles - Somewhat Recommended

"...Perhaps it was opening night adrenaline or a strong director's hand that accelerated the actors to shouting and a break neck pace to tell the story. Special effects to accentuate some of the pantomimed physical business distracted me a bit. In order for a theatrical piece to work, there must be an opportunity to build, not only the plot, but the motivations and actions of the actors. Costumes by Wendell C. Carmichael are perfect."
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Night Tinted Glasses - Highly Recommended

"...Calling this play a polemic against racism cannot be enough. It achieves more than that paltry if ethical goal. This play made real and supremely personal the tragedy of a human life, a life mine no less than the writer of the novel, or the play, or the actor who brought him forth. It is a challenge, felt and tasted not as an idea but a visceral wound. This. Should. Not. Be."
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David MacDowell Blue

Stage Raw - Recommended

"...Notwithstanding these reservations, this is a powerfully engaging and dynamic production, featuring an ensemble that does excellent work under Andi Chapman’s direction. The production’s design elements are top notch and skillfully integrated. Adam R. Macia’s black and white videography bluntly accentuates the dichotomy of Bigger’s world (the snowfall evoked while Bigger is fleeing from the law is markedly effective). Edward E. Haynes Jr.’s set evokes a fittingly dismal multilevel cityscape, with a back wall that works efficiently to display Macia’s video images. Equally impressive is Jeff Gardner’s robust sound design and Andrew Schmedake’s clever lighting."
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Lovell Estell III

Tin Pan LA - Highly Recommended

"...This captivating presentation by Antaeus Theatre Company so ingeniously draws out the grit, and harsh realities and consequences of racial divide in Wright’s novel and the present—audiences can’t help but be given a wakeup call that echoes all the way back to the 1940s."
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Ryan M. Luevano

Peoples World - Highly Recommended

"...The Antaeus Theatre Company's Southern California premiere production of Nambi E. Kelley's theatrical adaptation of Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son (seen opening night, April 19) reveals how this work becomes more powerful, more relevant and more disturbing with each passing year."
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Eric A. Gordon

Los Angeles Post-Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...Whatever Native Son may be without doubt it is powerful and thought provoking. It raises far more questions than answers but it severely provokes thought. So if having your mind stimulated and your thoughts provoked is entertaining for you than this show Native Son is a show you will not want to miss."
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Ron Irvin

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