Christopher’s ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Play

February 24, 2012

The curtain doesn’t rise on the world premiere of Bermudian actor Nicholas Christopher’s play “Hurt Village” until Monday [Feb.27] — but advance word on the intense drama set in a Memphis housing project is overwhelmingly positive.

The play has been in previews since February 7 preparatory to next week’s official opening [Nicholas Christopher is pictured here with cast mate Corey Hawkins].

Mr. Christopher joined the cast of “Hurt Village” after appearing in the acclaimed New York revival of the rock-musical “Rent.” Trained at the Boston Conservatory and the Juilliard School, he made his professional theatrical debut in the US national touring production of the Broadway hit “In The Heights.”

“Hurt Village” is written by Katori Hall whose play about the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life, “The Mountaintop” became a sensation first in London’s West End and now on Broadway. The New York production stars Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

The new play is being staged at Signature Theatre Company’s off-Broadway Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at its 42nd Street Signature Center. “Hurt Village”, a hard-edged drama about a Iraq veteran returning to the projects in Memphis, earned Katori Hall the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize last year.

Aside from Mr. Christopher and Mr. Hawkins, the “Hurt Village” cast also includesTonya Pinkins, Ron Cephas Jones and Saycon Sengbloh and the play is directed by Patricia McGregor.

One advance review said the new play “knocked my socks to Brooklyn”, providing “a powerful and, at times, gut-wrenching look at the reality of black urban poverty, racism, and the complex mix of culture, desperation, and oppression that makes breaking free from it so difficult.

“Although every cast member was truly terrific, Joaquina Kalukango, who plays 13-year-old Cookie, was the standout performance, eliciting a well-deserved standing ovation. Her struggle to bridge childhood and a necessarily premature adulthood is heartbreaking even as she charms your pants off with her wit and intelligence.”

Nicholas Christopher And The “Hurt Village” Cast Rehearse A Dance Scene

 

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