Fetch Clay, Make Man

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Opened Jan 15, 2010
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RE:Stephin Fetchit Meets Muhammad Ali!

Critic David Finkle writes: "While the point Power is ultimately making in this work involves the conflicted elements hampering the progress African-Americans want to make in a white-dominated society, it might help if he could find a faster way to indicate where hes headed. One helpful move might be to eliminate the couple of digressive flashbacks to the early 1930s studio office where mogul William Fox the always reliable Richard Masur is signing Fetchit then Lincoln Perry to a lucrative contract -- sequences intended to demonstrate yet another manner in which blacks accommodated to whites," -- I cant help but to disagree. Change does not come easy, especially in the dominant white culture that Mr. Finkle references. To suggest that the elimination of scenes depicting the wit and intellectual play used by Lincoln Perry aka Stephin Fetchit to advance his career and outsmart his adversary is destructive to Perrys image and plays directly into the historical depiction of blacks as inferior intellectual beings. Those scenes show otherwise and Im immensely glad that they are included in this dynamic production by Will Power. My theater group braved the snow storm on 2/6/10 to journey to Princeton for this production and we all agreed that Fetch Clay, Make Man was marvelous. Ben Vereen played a dynamic Stephin Fetchit, especially in the flashbacks. Id highly recommend this production.