Recently, I’ve seen superb and stunning plays staged by Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company (all for $25 per ticket, since I qualify for the 35 Below discount).
But The Huntington’s current production of Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Ruined” is in a separate class; I doubt you could go to NYC and find too many productions more exhilarating, more utterly satisfying than this. Between the Boston and San Diego press, where “Ruined” started its three-theatre tour, I have yet to see any tepidity or negativity in the reviews. Our own Herald enthusiastically endorses it saying:
Powerful! Vibrant! Director Liesl Tommy keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, assisted greatly by a talented cast, vibrant choreography, and authentic, percussion-heavy Central African music. Tonye Patano is a wonder. She shines throughout, particularly in tender, humor-filled scenes with a great Oberon K.A. Adjepong.
In short, the play is heavy – no melodrama here. It focuses on rape, genital mutilation, and how war breeds horrific violence against girls and women. ”Savvy business woman Mama Nadi knows how to survive in the midst of the Congo civil war: don’t take sides,” begins The Huntingon’s synopsis. It continues, “She sells beers and girls to any man who’ll leave his gun at the door. The good-time atmosphere of the canteen and her sharp wits can’t always protect her and her girls, but their courage, humor, and hope live on in this gripping drama.”
Superbly written, superbly acted, and a superb job by the other theatre artists involved, I urgently recommend it to the Blue Mass Group crowd. However, I post this endorsement here not just because I think the justice and equality-minded audience of BMG will enjoy the play, but also because The Huntington hosts a slew of post-show events, free to ticket holders, and after the Sunday January 23, 2:00pm matinee, Barney Frank will be featured at the Humanities Forum to discuss he and his fellow legislators’ efforts to end conflict in the Congo.
Go see this play. Go see Barney if you can. If you’re over 35 years of age and find the ticket prices steep, there are other discounts available. This play will be a fantastic introduction/reintroduction to your local theatre scene.