by KC Weakley · August 17, 2014
I wasn’t expecting that.
I’m picky, specific, sometimes an insecure snob. I’m sentimental, romantic and susceptible to tears, but I wasn’t expecting that.
MANish BOY, expertly written and exquisitely performed by Ralph Harris, is a personal exploration of the legacy of love. Direction by Oz Scott is tight, well crafted and sneaks right up on you.
Characters of love, fear, anger, addiction, lust, jealousy, and living life surround a boy growing to manhood, making this more than what I expected.
Harris in MANish BOY takes us on a thirty-year journey of self-discovery through the eyes and characters of the family surrounding him. It’s hard and good to watch because his reality and remembrances are so close to the truth for me, and perhaps for many of us. Harris’ premise: sitting backstage after a comedy show telling friends (us, the audience, his friends) how he got here may be a bit contrived. So what. As characters with great and greater depth appear and the rolling laughter and tears of recognition sweep through the audience all is reconciled. Absent father, loving grandfather, first love affair, youthful adventures in the basement: all join seamlessly to connect us, all of us.
And as Miss Peggy states: we deserve that much.
Harris and his family ripped the heart right outta my chest, and I wasn’t expecting that.
MANish BOY is nominated for the NAACP Theater Award for “Best One Person Play”.