Sunday night I went to the Hollywood Fringe festivals 7pm show of “Greenwood 1964” Written & Directed by Mohammed Ali Ojarigi starring Eli Goree as Sidney Poitier and Thomas Ramseur King as Harry Belafonte. The show opens to an incredible intense soundtrack of song, shouts & wails perfectly paired with flashes of Black & White photographs from painful moments during the civil rights era. My heart was racing. The opening alone could be its own captivating show in an art gallery. Then the lights go up to reveal Eli Goree & soon his partner Thomas Ramseur King in a simply dressed 1964 “safe house” with a couch & sharp screw as their silent co-star. I am a huge fan of the script which delves into a night Sidney Poitier & Harry Belafonte share while visiting Greenwood, Mississippi. They cover so much, from issues of colorism & how it effects lighter & darker skinned performers in Hollywood, the mentality & judgment of marrying white while fighting for the black race, the persecution that comes from speaking up for your people in a world not designed for us. Eli makes bold choices with his Poitier dialect & embodiment, pulling the audiences emotions back and forth with him in Sidney’s struggle. Thomas has a natural ease, suaveness & strength to his portrayal of Belafonte making these two actors a great match for playing rivals & friends. Greenwood 1964 really hits home for me as an African American actress & dark skinned woman in America. I hope you’ll go support this play & these very talented artists on the rise.
What I didn't like
I don’t have many notes for the production. Just wish I had more time to talk with each of the creators and performers. It would be great if there was a panel discussion where questions could be asked if there isn’t time to talk after the show.