Dael Orlandersmith

Compassion and fervor in Berkeley Rep’s 'Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men'


"I want them to look at me, to look me in the eyes," states Dael Orlandersmith, using a British accent to portray one of at least ten different characters she plays in her tour de force solo show Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, at Berkeley Rep through June 23.
After 90 minutes, the audience was definitely squirming in its seats. Orlandersmith tackles a barrage of characters, each of whom related in some degree to the subjects of mental, physical, and sexual abuse of boys and men. But despite the challenging material, I do not think many viewers would have wanted the play to be any shorter. ("There was hope in it," I heard an audience member say as we walked out of the theater.)

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