This won’t be a rant about brand being a promise of quality – especially since we attended a preview performance. Thaddeus and Slocum, as we saw it, is not up to the quality of a Lookingglass production. This is Kevin Douglas’s first full length play.
The subject matter is difficult: an interracial Vaudeville (black/white) duo in which the “negro” wears black face because an interracial act would not be booked in either black or white theaters at the turn of the century. (Probably would not have been booked in most of the U.S. until into the second half of the 20th century.) So, right away you have a social/moral conundrum, interspersed with a love story, and Vaudeville acts. Lookingglass is known for their outstanding physical theater – precise dancing, gymnastics, incredible staging – this in no way measured up. And the story is poorly written, not compelling.