By Kevin M. Thomas, @ReelKev
Just in time for Women’s History Month, the Tony nominated female driven “Eclipsed” has come to the new Curran Theatre with guns a-blazing.
The first Broadway production with an all black female cast, writer and director, “Eclipsed” is a story of five women bound by circumstances during the Second Liberian Civil War.
These women are prisoners of their own, serving and servicing an off-screen man who has labeled the women Wife #1-#4, just like ranking in the war.
The women try to make the best of their situation, but calling their hovel “camp” or “compound” are truly just kinder words for prison.
But beneath the story of women who bond together, steeps a war that reminds us that the women need to keep feeding the beast. While the story is all about the women, men are still a strong presence even though never seen on stage.
The stellar cast of five women who are as diverse and interesting as their characters keep the audience interested and empathetic. But the true star is Danai Gurira’s script. It’s biting, traumatic and even has moments of humor.
Further, it finds depth in its characters and makes a great blueprint for the actresses to add their own voice which is reflective in their chemistry.
Ayesha Jordan, Stacey Sergeant, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Akosua Busia and Adeola Role bring life to their characters and a face to what actually is a true story of young women taken and imprisoned as sex slaves during the war.
Tony nominee Liesl Tommy brings the show to the Curran Theatre and retains its strength and humanity. She also adds realness to the show by listing names of missing young women at the end of the show, while having the audience say their names. That makes everything they went through all the more real.
On a separate note, this is the second production of the new, beautiful and independent Curran Theatre. It’s modern and sleek and stills pays tribute to the artistry of old school theatre going. Kudos to you to, Curran Theatre.
“Eclipsed” is on a limited run, ending March 19. Get information and ticket and www.sfcurran.com.