SKINNYFEST - 'Twilight Los Angeles: 1992'

This is a worthwhile play that deals with a largely overlooked topic...

Article by Frank Lazarski | 14 Aug 2006
Spike Lee's 'Malcolm X' opened with shots of the Rodney King beating superimposed over a burning American flag. Such vivid confrontation of the 1992 LA uprising, one of the most lurid manifestation of racial volatility in American history, is rare in popular culture.

'Twilight Los Angeles: 1992' engages the issue assuredly and with an even hand. The play is a biographical series of monologues, a diverse set of speeches from the characters involved in the riots. Many of the public figures associated with the event offer up their two cents: from King and his family to the acquitted police chief and presidential hopeful Bill Bradley. The script allows for the viewpoints of a broad spectrum of American citizens - no voice is left unheard.

The Red Chair Players is a talented student group out of Connecticut. The fifteen or so young people, under the direction of Linda Ames Key, have produced a convincing and, generally, engaging piece of theatre. Watching fifteen and sixteen year olds depict an historic moment of inhumanity is unsettling: their youth makes the violent riot scenes all the more poignant. The result is a worthwhile play that deals with a largely overlooked topic. This is not a 'black' work, or a didactic piece in the style of Lee, but a candid investigation of the many victims of the LA uprisings.
C, Chambers Street