Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A Free Man of Color
Guare takes us on a journey to New Orleans in 1801 - which, in case you didn't know, was not part of America at this point in time. It was filled with Spaniards, French, and Caribbeans of all types. New Orleans was a land where men of all shades of color - from white to dark filled the city and shared a grand life. It was a city where a slave could buy his freedom and become the toast of the town - especially among the women (of all colors) of the town. Not only does Guare's play give us a sense of life in this vaudevillian city - he goes further to educate us on the global politics of the (1801) day - teaching us how Spain, France, England and Sante Dominigue (Haiti) all were part of the story of how America came to own this vast new land that spanned westward from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River, from the Gulf of Mexico northward to Canada - and how it changed New Orleans forever.
Three hours may seem like an eternity - but director, George C. Wolfe, crams enough witty and quick tempo dialogue, colorful costumes, lively action and an abundance of information in to the fast paced, multi-country story that before you know it, 11:00 is here and you're dumped out on the plaza at Lincoln center with all the hoity-toity opera snobs in their tuxedos and gowns. I highly recommend you attend this epic tale before it sells out for the season.