Review: Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet
Like the first two plays in his trilogy, Tarell Alvin McCraney in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet allows his characters to often voice their stage directions followed by their lines - - which adds additional light moments to the dialogue. Like the other plays, pan-African inspirations from Yoruba life and traditions, and Southern American rhythms and cadences stream through his innovative tales.
Having seen the other two plays, The Brothers Size (2008) and In Red and Brown Water (2010), made me appreciate the stage directions and Yoruba inspirations, but for Audrey Davis a multitude of attributes made the play enjoyable. “I was impressed by the actors' techniques and their abilities, with minimal staging and dialogue, to make the characters and the location feel real. It was interesting to see how the characters evolved throughout the three plays. It was a powerful trilogy. I highly recommend this last play,"says Davis.
In Marcus, the questions start early with one character asking 16-year-old Marcus Eshu (J. Mal McCree), “Are you sweet, like your daddy?” (Marcus’s father, Elegba, was incarcerated in the Brothers Size). While the tale often takes on the persona of a coming out story, the focus remains on Marcus’ quest to learn about his daddy, himself and interpreting his dream. The search for the dream’s meaning becomes hilarious, mystical and sometime intriguing.
For the play, set designer Dan Conway created a simple, but meaningful waterfall created by having water simply stream over a clear wall.
Marcus runs through Sunday, February 13 at Studio Theater, 1501 14th Street, NW (14th and P), 202-332-3300. Tickets are $35 to $65. Group discounts for10 or more are available and $15 tickets for full-time students are available one-half hour before curtain if seats are available (except Saturday evenings).
Previous Snippets Review
The Brothers Size