This is a great year for solo performance at T:BA. It's weak on women, but the men they've got are telling important stories, and telling them well. Daniel Beaty's Resurrection is a perfect counterpoint to Lemon Andersen's County of Kings. While Lemon told his own story of trying to fulfill his potential when the odds were stacked against him, Beaty weaves the story of six interconnected black men, each looking for another chance.
Beaty is a powerful performer, and he holds the audience rapt from the moment the show begins. He inhabits each of his characters completely, transforming from a 10-year-old boy to a 20-year-old student to a 40-year-old shop owner and back, each with just a small shift in voice, the shrug of a shoulder, a glint in his eye. Each character is facing a turning point, looking back in order to look forward, and hoping for the chance to make the right choice.
Beaty creates a symphony of voices, rising to a riveting crescendo and resolving beautifully. He draws on poetry and song, sometimes preaching and sometimes praying but always staying true to the characters he's created. Check him out. His straightforward but utterly artful storytelling is a refreshing change from some of the more bizarre and conceptual pieces in this year's festival. That isn't to say that one form is better than another--just that each allows the other to shine more intensely.
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