“Stick Fly” at Park Square Theatre

217066_10151601880835733_744904186_n“Stick Fly” is a dramatic play by Lydia R. Diamond now playing at the Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. The LeVay clan has a home on Martha’s Vineyard where they plan to spend a family weekend together.  The father, Dr. LeVay, is a neurosurgeon and has spent his life building up wealth and making a name for his family.  His sons, Kent and Flip, bring their girlfriends home for the weekend which causes some dismay.  Kent’s fiance, Taylor, is dealing with emotions around her famous father who abandoned her. Flip’s girlfriend is white (although he tells his family she is “italian” to lessen the blow) which he is worried about due to the fact that they are African-American.  The family maid is sick and her daughter Cheryl shows up as a stand in.  Mrs. LeVay does not show up due to reasons we find out later in the show.

James A. Williams who played Joe LeVay (the father) was my favorite.  He was harsh, yet kind.  Tough, yet playful.  The dimensions of his character were so interesting to me.  Brittany Bradford (Cheryl) was very youthful and sweet during the first act.  When things started to unfold later in the play, her use of language changed and she took on a different persona.  I also really liked Darrien E. Burks who played Kent.  He was the innocent brother who kept getting trampled on and I really felt for his character.  Truly the entire cast worked well together but I won’t go into too many details so that you can see it for yourself!

The set was beautifully crafted by Christopher Mayer.  The functionallity of the home was wonderful.  The kitchen had stainless steel appliances and tiled flooring.  The living room had hard wood floors with a large sofa and chairs.  There was a small patio, a stairway, an area rug and great art work.  I loved that the lights would dim during scene changes and jazz music would play.

The writing was very well done and intelligent.  It was engaging and allowed the audience to focus.  Many times I write lots of notes during shows but I didn’t want to look away for fear that I would miss something.  I loved the overlapping lines between characters that took place throughout the play.  A few things that really stood out to me were:

  • “The first man who is supposed to love you is your father.”  I often think how lucky I am to have a dad who thinks the world of me and tells me often. If you are reading this, thank you Dad for always being my #1 fan (alongside mom of course).
  • The dramatic scene between the brothers in the second act. The audience (myself included) were cracking up. It was a misunderstood conversation and when everything was finally cleared up, it was intense.
  • In Act 1 Taylor gets in a heated debate and runs her mouth. Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune said it best “Sometimes our tongues get too close to our thoughts.” How many times have you or I said something we wish we could take back?
  • The dynamics between everyone in the show: The way the dad was with his two sons. The way the brothers treated their girlfriends. The relationship the maid had to the family.
“Stick Fly” is a very well thought out drama. I would highly recommend going to see it especially if you are interested in learning what “Stick Fly” refers to. My only warning is don’t bring kids. There is lots of adult language and sexual references. The show is running now through May 19th for more information: http://www.parksquaretheatre.org/www/index.php
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