11 Aug Fairview
A meditation on race, couched in the comfy confines of a humorously exaggerated sitcom setting, sets the stage for a darkening debate on skin color and all that stereotypically implies, without considering the aspect of the individual.
Jackie Sibblies Drury’s 2019 Pulitzer winner, Fairview, asks the outlandish question “If you could choose your race, what would you pick?” and provides an unfathomable and raucously disconcerting background for the consideration and debate.
SoHo Rep’s successful run of this show led to continued extensions, going all the way to a move to Theatre For a New Audience where it will close today.
The performances are flawless—the cast is so finely tuned into their characters and the material that the piece glimmers in perfection. The comic timing, line deliveries, character development—all is pure theatre perfection. This kind of carefully crafted and honed work is exciting to watch and experience.
The play reaches an absolute cacophonous climax that defies imagination to make its final point, all the way to bringing the house lights up and asking all the people who “identify as white” to come take the stage and look out from the character’s world and point of view. It’s a moving moment as the character Keisha gives a final plea-ful monologue (in the audience) about the idea of trading places and then beyond that, honoring what an individual brings to the conversation, setting all race or ethnicity aside to tell a story of people, just people.
Fairview should have a long life beyond this production, as race continues to be a topic of discourse and discomfort in the American culture. And if people could choose their race, would they choose something other than what they are?
A deep question indeed.