Citizen: An American Lyric Theatre Review

A review by Suzanne Birrell.

Citizen: An American Lyric now showing at the Fountain Theatre is a provocative symphony of language. Moments, words, thoughts, questions are played by a talented ensemble of actors who seamlessly and figuratively dance through a performance which takes the audience on a journey through perceptions. Citizen: An American Lyric is an ambitious work of art in that it allows us to walk in someone else's shoes. It attempts to move aside the log in our eyes. The audience is pulled into realities to witness that which we may or may not have witnessed before.

In Citizen: An American Lyric the unsaid is said. Points of view follow each action as if to ask, "Which one are you?" But unlike other recent works about race in America, Citizen: An American Lyric does not share the experience with bitterness nor hatred. Rather it says: Look. Understand. Is that me? Do I do that? We laughed and shed a few tears on the journey and exited the theatre more thoughtful than when we went in.

The total presentation is beautifully effective. Stephen Sachs adapted the book of the same name written by Claudia Rankine. Shirley Jo Finney directs.  Masterful set video design by Yee Eun Nam. Inspired lighting design by Pablo Santiago. Composer/sound design by Peter Bayne. (Kind a Blue was one of my favorite moments.) Movement designed by Anastasia Coon was more of a dance. Bernard K Addison, Leith Burke, Tina Lifford, Tony Maggio, Simone Missick and Lisa Pescia make up the cast of voices; sometimes just a word uttered here and there, sometimes heartfelt conversations, sometimes finger pointing, sometimes asking questions. History unfolds with a point of view, perhaps lived or perhaps never witness.  Citizen: An American Lyric is indeed a work of art and a song for our time.

Highly recommended. Citizen: An American Lyric is a story that sticks with you,  a work of art that can inspire change. Don't miss this world premiere.

Playing thru October 11, 2015 at the Fountain Theatre.

Saturdays, 8pm; Sundays 3pm and 7pm; Mondays 8pm (Mondays are Pay-What-You-Can)

Posted By Suzanne Birrell on August 12, 2015 10:24 am | Permalink