by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Dale Shields
Ed Blunt and Jimmie D. Jimmie Woody
Beck Center for the Arts
Top Dog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks Directed by Dale Shields Ed Blunt and Jimmie D. Jimmie Woody. Beck Center for the Arts. 
Capsule reviews of current area theater presentations. Top Dog/Underdog — When a black dad names his two sons Lincoln and Booth, you just know there’s going to be hell to pay down the road. Those brothers, now grown, make up the complete cast and the major reason to experience this Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama from playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. It echoes Shel Silverstein’s “A Boy Named Sue” in another way since Lincoln and Booth’s parents abandoned them before they were fully grown. The men’s background has marked them indelibly, and their search for inner stability has led each to engage in con games and masquerades that offer control — even when playing the victim. The thematic beauty of Parks’ script is that this is a deal we all make since we are all running a “con” in our public personas to deal with the wrenching realities that life deals us. The profoundly intuitive performances by Ed Blunt and Jimmie D. Woody, under the sure-handed direction of Dale Ricardo Shields, are entirely credible throughout, even when the action borders on the absurd. Through October 23 at Beck Center, — Howey
ARCHIVIST and HISTORIAN
Dale Shields is a professor of theatre, director, and actor (Broadway, Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway and Regional).
The 2017 winner of The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award®, 2017 and 2015 Tony® award nominee for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, and the winner of the 2017 AUDELCO/"VIV" Special Achievement Award. On the web, he is the archivist and historian of Iforcolor.org and Black Theatre/African American Voices [Facebook] (theatre, music, and art). He has taught classes and workshops at Susquehanna University, Denison University, Randolph-Macon College, Macalester College, The College of Wooster, Ohio University, Wayne State University, The University of Akron and the Joseph Papp Public Theatre (NYSF).
B.F.A. and M.F.A. degree from Ohio University.
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