HONKY, a play by Greg Kalleres intersects multiple people around the issue of racism. As AVENUE Q says “everyone’s a little bit racist.” The show opens at a shoe manufacturing company where we learn that a kid has been killed over sneakers. To attempt to explain the dynamics in the show would take days. There was so much going on that by the end, I walked out wondering “what was the main point?”
The space was very intimate and plain. Two chairs, a desk and some minor props are all that were on stage. Instead of set pieces, they chose to use projections. It is rare that I am a fan of projections in a show. Why? Projections don’t leave room for the audience to imagine. Was it absolutely necessary for us to see pictures of a Manhattan building, a subway, books and other minor detailed images throughout the show? No. Did it paint a picture for the audience? Yes, but why not allow us to create images in our minds?
All the actors pulled their weight equally. Just when I thought someone was standing out a bit more than another, another actor would enter the stage and up the ante. It’s comforting to have a cast full of people who all shine.
Despite the language and at times awkward/uncomfortable content, HONKY was interesting. The ladies in front of me were highly entertained and towards the end, one yelled at random “Put the shoes on and fly!” Not something you hear in theaters every day. If you don’t mind lots of racial slurs and offensive material, check out this play. HONKY runs through November 17th at Urban Stages. For more information visit their website: http://urbanstages.org/honky
RANKING: That Is The Question