If you’ve been complaining recently that SE’s Anacostia district doesn’t have enough quality arts offerings, Theater Alliance, will give you an attitude adjustment as it continues in its 11th season hosting Nathan Louis Jackson’s “Broke-ology.” The play runs through September 8 at the Anacostia Playhouse in SE DC.
Newly opened, my first thought was that the 120-seat theater was surprisingly cozy and intimate. And fortunately, we didn’t have 120 attendees. 🙂 My second thought was “This is nice, sort of like the Kennedy Center, but half off.”
Set in Kansas City, Broke-ology is the story of an African American family: father, William King, mother Sonia, and their two sons, Ennis and Malcolm. The family deals with growing up, manhood, Sonia’s death, William’s illness, and of course, being broke. Challenges occur, just as with our own families, of balancing dreams with realities and individual needs and desires with those of the family.
It’s the play’s Ennis King (actor Jacobi Howard), that breaks down the study of being broke (broke-ology) and keeps everyone crunching abs with his wise-cracking humor and wit. The actors were cast well by Director Candace L. Feldman, and while Ennis was a crowd favorite, actress Tricia Homer’s short scenes had me wanting to do a past plays search on Google.
What I enjoyed the most was how much I (and most regular people) could relate to the story. And by regular people, I mean you, no matter what background you claim. What I saw, was a story of family who tried it’s best to make lemonade, pitcher after pitcher, with the many lemons that life threw them. There was no clear hero in the story, as is probably Jackson’s intent, but what was as clear as a late rent notice, was how the audience was drawn into the characters’ lives; with each laugh and serious moment.
Broke-ology brings you many laughs and good times, but also challenging periods where it’s re-iterated that the same things that draw our families near and makes us unique can be the same things that push away. In good times, we’re still family. During life’s lows, we’re still family. No matter if you major in the lifestyles of the rich and famous or even graduate with a degree in Broke-ology; we’re still family.
The Pictures: There was a reception before the production began and afterwards, the actors come out to meet and greet the attendees. When you can come off stage and are greeted by hug after hug by members of the audience, you know they connected with your character and you as a performer. Go see it.
Today, I’m thankful for art, lemons and the closeness that comes with Broke-ology! God bless.