Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

King Liz

King Liz is definitely serves a niche market in the theater - basketball or more generally sports fans.  Usually these two don't mix very much at all.  However, thanks to the fine writing by Fernanda Coppel, this play sweeps through the sports industry,  more specifically, the sports agent / player relationship with fervor.

 As you would expect in today's high stakes drafts and team rosters - recruiting young players with raw talent is key.  What happens when that talent is so raw it's actually a danger to itself?  How young is too young?  To what ends will agents and teams to to exploit talent?   These and many other questions are explored in this 2 hour tour-de-force presented at the McGinn/Cazale Theater of 2ST.

Karen Pittman (Liz Rico) dominates the stage with raw power, steadfast determination and a pure strength of will to succeed as a woman in a man's world.  She manipulates and attempts to mold young (very fine looking) and talented high school basketball player from Red Hook Brooklyn, Jeremie Harris (Freddie Luna).  The supporting cast - most notably Irene Sofia Lucio (Gabby Fuentes) and Russell G. Jones (Coach Jones) - fill in the drama and back story quite nicely.

With a quick pace and high volume the characters engage in what can only be described as a war of wills.  Who wins in the end and at what cost?  I leave that up to you to determine.   The oddest moment of the entire play was the bizarre opening lip sync which led me to think this was a drag queen show for about 2 minutes.  Thankfully nothing else in the show was as bizarre and I quickly forgot about it once the real plot began to furiously unfold.