Topdog/Underdog is the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning play about two African American brothers, named Lincoln and Booth. Given these names as a "joke" by their father, the two men cope with women, work, poverty, gambling, racism, and their troubled upbringings. Using three-card monte as a metaphor, this play is ultimately about the Great American Con. Like the title suggests, Topdog/Underdog is a play about competition, reversals, and mirror images that reflect the true self.
"Suzan-Lori Parks won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama with her "Topdog/Underdog" which came to the Mark Taper Forum in 2004. At the South Pasadena Fremont Centre Theatre, the power is in the smallness of the venue. Under the direction of James Reynolds, with Jed Reynolds as the elder brother and Stephen Rider as the scrappy younger brother, the rawness and anger are more immediate.…this production is a powerful, hard-hitting production that shows why sometimes a smaller venue is better.?" - Jana J. Monji - LA Examiner
"...in South Pasadena, however, Reynolds as Lincoln and Stephen Ryder as Booth are more logically cast in their respective roles, and the performances soar -- while those in Hollywood eventually sag. Whatever the reasons, I found the South Pasadena production - which I saw two days after the Hollywood production - considerably more emotionally involving." -Don Shirley - LA Stage Watch
"Suzan-Lori Parks created a prize winning play, so you know going in that the writing, the premise and the plot will be top notch. When you leave the theatre you know one more thing. You know that the Fremont Centre Theatre has created one of the most sensitive and excellent performances of this play, and it's one that should be rated a "must see" by any discerning patrons of the theatre" -?Jose Ruiz - Reviewplays
"Directed by James Reynolds, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG is a "top dog", and this dog (dawg?) will bite!" -Accessily Live
"TOPDOG/UNDERDOG EXCELS. It is almost quite enough just to be in the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, ...But what is presently offered, Topdog/Underdog, makes the occasion even more worthwhile. This dramatic piece had it's origin several years ago to excellent notices, enough to receive the Pulitzer Prize. The production here is just as satisfying, if not more so...profound and certainly memorable...Jed Reynolds and Stephen Rider as Booth and Lincoln respectively do wonders with their portrayals."
-BOB TINSLEY, Eeworldnews.com
"Written with gut-wrenching realism by Suzan-Lori Parks, her Pulitzer Prize winning script packs an emotional wallop! Savvy Director James Reynolds masterfully guides two dynamically talented actors in these demanding roles! Stephen Rider as Booth and Jed Reynolds as Lincoln, are both riveting!" -Pat Taylor, Tolucan Times
"...scrappy, honest production. As Booth, Rider has an appealing intensity that bounces nicely off of Jed Reynolds' low-key Lincoln. James Reynolds' simple staging is clear and clean, and the young actors own the play's many comic moments." -Reviewed by Jennie Webb Backstage West
TOPDOG/UNDERDOG (FREMONT PRODUCTION): 100% - Sweet