Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Scene It: "Revival" on stage at Geva Theatre Center

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The problem with cinematic or on-stage adaptations of literary works is that they destroy the mind’s eye. They tend to obliterate the sights and sounds you create when you read. But not always.

Even though it was on stage before a packed house, the reading of "Revival: The Resurrection of Son House" was a wonderful interpretation of Keith Glover’s play on the life of the Delta blues legend. The cast’s reading and subsequent subtle facial and body inflections were brilliant, adding to the story without crowding what each and every audience member brought with them.

The actor who played House, the Tony Award-winning Cleavant Derricks, literally wrung himself out on stage as he took on House’s struggle with good and evil. It came off as his own struggle. Derricks and the rest of the cast served the story with gentile affectation and humor, and I was frequently brought to the brink of tears.

My one and only disappointment on an otherwise perfect night was the play’s ending where it seemed good triumphed over evil. I was rooting for the devil ... or at least a cliff-hanger.

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