Black Angels Over Tuskegee was playing at the Actors Temple located at 339 West 47th Street. It runs two hours with one intermission. It only ran three Saturdays and closed Marc 17, 2018. But it is scheduled to open again in late May.
Layon Gray is the playwright, director and actor in the show. He did his 3,000 performance on March 17, 2018. He wrote the play in 2008 while living in Los Angeles. The play is celebrating its 9th year off Broadway.
The narrator (Thaddeus Daniels) comes out telling the audience he has a story to tell. It takes place in 1942. He explains racism, segregation, bottom line he says its Jim Crow. No matter what has been said I’m about to tell you the truth.
Six African American men are waiting to take a test to be a pilot in the Air Force. They have waited over four hours in a very hot room. The men say then think because we are African American they think we are stupid. Abe (David Roberts), and his brother Quenten (Laton Gray) are teasing each other. Theodore (Lamar Cheston) is clutching his bag, which has his records in it. Elijah (Anthony Goss) is boxing. Percival (Delano Barbosa) is keeping the peace when things get out of hand. Jeremiah (Melvin Huffnalge) is the loner of the group. He keeps telling them to be quite, that he is studying.
The group passes with almost perfect scores, well Jeremiah score was perfect. The white Major Roberts) is surprised.
They are sent to Tuskegee, Alabama for training. On the way there they are taken off the train and their seats are given to six German prisoners. They have to sit in the car that had coal.
We learn more about each character. Segregation follows them when they are shipped to North Africa in 1943, despite what they are risking their lives for.
What happens to them and who they are you will find out when you see this enlighten play.
The narrator comes back on with an emotional and touching finish.
Everyone does a remarkable performance. David Roberts and Layon Gray are amazing.
The play reopens in May at the same Theatre.
It is a must see history lesson you shouldn’t forget.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.