Eclipsed: All-Female All-Black Broadway!

Theater

Who could have thoughts that a play about an intense story about the captive wives of a Liberian warlord could make you laugh  to tears! Broadway play, starring Academy award winner Lupita Nyong’o and written by The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is plenty of warmth and humor.

“Growing up in South Africa during the apartheid years, in a mixed race community, humor was a huge part of the way we survived, and how we got through incredibly dark days,” said director Liesl Tommy, at the lead of the first all-female, all-black Broadway show.

Everyone involved in the production seems to have a personal connection to it. “My family’s from West Africa,” said Zainab Jah, who portrays a wife-turned-soldier in the play. “I was born and raised in London, but my family’s from Sierra Leone, right next door to Liberia. It’s so wonderful to be able to bring stories of my people to my friends in America, who only know me as this exotic creature with an English accent.”

Caught up in the brutal violence of Liberian civil war, held captive as “wives,” really sexual slaves, of a rebel commanding officer, they prefer to refer to one another anonymously — as Number One or Number Three — as if their lives before the horror descended upon them never happened. It’s more painful to remember than to forget.

For all its harrowing power, “Eclipsed,” headlined by the Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, one of the most radiant young actors to be seen on Broadway in recent seasons, shines with a compassion that makes us see beyond the suffering to the indomitable humanity of its characters. And although the events it depicts happened more than a decade ago, the play resonates powerfully today, as more than one African country continues to be plagued by atrocious violence, with women often the most brutalized victims. (Let us not forget the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria who remain unaccounted for to this day.)

Nyong’o seems to relish the challenge of bringing the intimate play to a larger stage than the small Off Broadway space at the Public Theater, where the production played last year.

Everything is bigger,” Nyong’o said. “There’s more laughter. There’s more gasps. There’s more of everything. It feels like we have more story to tell.”

EclipsedJohn Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., Midtown West, 212-239-6200
Runtime 2 hrs. and 15 min. – Credits Written by Danai Gurira; Directed by Liesl Tommy
Cast Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh
Preview February 23, 2016 – Opened March 6, 2016 – Closing Date June 19, 2016

 

Cet article est disponible en: Français

Mar. 8, 2016

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