Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Skeleton Crew

Doing what they do best, The Atlantic Theater Company is beginning a run of what might be the most compelling and culturally relevant play of the season.

Written by Dominique Morisseau, Skeleton Crew gives us a glimpse into challenges of very blue collar workers at a car manufacturing plant in Detroit.

Life is tough.   Life makes you tough.  Who is your family and to what extreme will you go to protect them and their livelihood?   These tough, poignant, and in-your-face questions are all asked and answered by the suburb actors on stage.  Lynda Gravatt (Faye) is the stalwart veteran of the plant.  Jason Dirden (Dez) is the young wild-child, Nikiya Mathis (Shanita) is a young expecting mother with a lot of pride in what she makes, and Wendell B. Franklin (Reggie) is the plant manager torn between the white collar world he now lives and the blue collar world he grew up in.  This ensemble was as tight, on-point, and incredibly credible.

Between the rumors of the plant closing, thefts at the plant, a pregnancy, homelessness, and a gun, to say where there's smoke there is fire is the understatement of the year.   Sparks fly.  Pride is always in the way.  Tempers flair.  This riveting piece is most assuredly best performed in an intimate black box theater where emotions are high and contained.