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The Brothers Size

(Left to right) Laurence Curry as Oshoosi Size and Cajardo Lindsey as Ogun Size
(L to R) Laurence Curry as Oshoosi Size
and Cajardo Lindsey as Ogun Size
Photo: Michael Ensminger
If Langston Hughes were alive, his writing would sound a lot like what we heard in Curious Theatre Company's regional premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size. Hughes once said of his work, "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street" and, indeed, the unofficial poet laureate of Harlem captured the rhythms of life Uptown with his words, much as McCraney does in this piece for Cajun country.

The cadences and musicality of McCraney's script are redoubled in director Dee Covington's stunning production, with percussive effects drummed out by the actors using the set and props, as well as through their voices and feet. Chip Walton's scenic design is a wonder in itself, drawing on the multileveled metaphors in the story, with tall metal posts representing—sometimes alternately; sometimes simultaneously—the trees of the bayou, the bars of a jail cell, and the prisons of the characters' minds and hearts.

(Left to right) Damion Hoover as Elegba and Laurence Curry as Oshoosi
(L to R) Damion Hoover as Elegba
and Laurence Curry as Oshoosi
Photo: Michael Ensminger
Older brother Ogun Size (Cajardo Lindsey) raised his younger brother, Oshoosi (Laurence Curry), after their mother died. Oshoosi now returns home, after a stint in prison, to find that Orgun is a successful auto mechanic with his own shop. Elegba (Damion Hoover), who served time with Oshoosi, lurks, luring Oshoosi with his lurid schemes and dreams.

Covington's choreography and blocking, coupled with Jason Ducat's sound design, make a symphony of McCraney's song. The climax of Ogun and Oshoosi's relationship is the quintessence of brotherly love. Lindsey has a remarkable way of communicating what he is feeling inside—it's more than the sum of his physical indications and voice—it's right from the heart. While it's a longer journey to get there for the younger brother, Curry masterfully turns a self-absorbed young man into a burgeoning adult. Hoover's seductiveness is a sublime spectrum of nuances.

(Left to right) Cajardo Lindsey as Ogun Size and Laurence Curry as Oshoosi Size
(L to R) Cajardo Lindsey as Ogun Size
and Laurence Curry as Oshoosi Size
Photo: Michael Ensminger
Like Hughes, McCraney makes his political points, too, reminding us, fully within the context of the story, what it's like to be black in a white man's world. We'll be seeing a lot more of McCraney; he's got a rare gift.

Curious Theatre Company's presentation of The Brothers Size runs through April 13th. For more information: 303-623-0524 or www.curioustheatre.org.

Bob Bows

 

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