The Bluest Eye is such a deep story. It can actually be a challenge to follow if you’re not careful to pay attention to detail. Karamu House put on a really good show in the intimate Arena Theatre. The actors that were selected did a great job. The only issue was that the two daughters opposite of Pecola talked just a little too proper English. It was good for clarity, since they narrated most of the play, but just didn’t completely mesh with the other characters diction. Other than that, the play was really good.
I recognized two of the actors, Jimmy Woody (who I met years ago at Tri-C through my brother Oliver) and one of our patrons from the library! We were both surprised to see each other when the actors lined up to shake hands with the audience. That was a great. She always stood out as a library patron because she spoke several languages (which she taught herself) and was always searching for materials outside of the norm. She played the role of Mama, Claudia and Freida’s mother.
Pecola’s mother and father (Woody) did a good job demonstrating the extreme dynamics from a marriage at that time. One minute deeply in love, the next they’re violent towards each other. Sadly enough, maybe marriages haven’t changed much over the years.
For me, however, the highlight of the play was the hypnotic performance of Pecola. She was brilliantly cast for this role. Her scenes of sadness and weeping were so real! Then when she repeated the simple phrases from that textbook and seemed entranced, almost possessed, when expressing her yearning for blue eyes, it was mesmerizing.