Reviewed by Jeffrey R Smith of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
California Shakespeare, under the superb direction of Patricia McGregor and the dance leadership of choreographer Paloma McGregor, is currently performing SPUNK.
This bluesy dance musical is a dazzling production of Zora Neale Hurston’s tales of early twentieth century African-American life, as adapted by Obie Award-Winner George Wolfe.
The ninety minute production whizzes by leaving the audience palpably panting for more.
An encore is the highest accolade anyone can give a show and this show produces a gnawing sense of, “We want more.”
SPUNK is stimulating; it is both flawlessly entertaining and interestingly informative; it spotlights elements of urban life and the heroic resilience of the African American culture.
Qualitatively it is nearly too tantalizing; whetting the audience’s appetite for more blues is singer-songwriter Anthony Michael Peterson, a.k.a. Tru, on guitar.
Costuming by Callie Floor ignites the stage with vibrant colors and stirring fashion; her zoot suits are simply fantastic: right off a 1930s Harlem taior-made garment rack.
Audiences departing the Bruns Memorial Amphitheatre will find themselves lifted spiritually and improving the blues; don’t be surprised if you are driving home and searching for Lead Belly, Jelly Roll Morton or B B King on the car radio.
Regrettably, SPUNK closes this weekend—July 29—so don’t put off seeing one of the most entertaining shows of the summer.
For tickets surf over to www.calshakes.org or call 510-548-9666.