July 17, 2016
How timely – a play about African-American and white police officers feuding, grumpy family relations, elder-achievers and Trump-like negotiations – this play has it all.
Several years ago, we saw Guirgis’s The Mother****er with the Hat, a good play about marginal people, directed by Anna D. Shapiro at Steppenwolf. We enjoyed it, but felt it lacked moral heft. Good acting, but where was the point?
Between Riverside and Crazy premiered three years after the Hat, and Guirgis’s development as a playwright shows. This is a play with a deep moral core, whether you like the ending or not. He takes time to build the conflicts, he surprises with the resolution. Anna D. Shapiro, now Artistic Director at Steppenwolf, again directed. The actors are excellent. Eamonn Walker is the lead.
What I like best about this play is the change-up in plot and pace in the second act. By the end of the first act, I was almost bored with the conflicts and what appeared to be yet another “angry black man, frustrated white man” set-up. But in the end, everyone got what they wanted, even though they may have sacrificed more than they anticipated. Definitely a Prince.