Theater arts

Theatre Evaluate: ‘Bars and Measures’ introduced by Mosaic Theater Firm at Atlas Performing Arts Middle

Theatre Evaluate: ‘Bars and Measures’ introduced by Mosaic Theater Firm at Atlas Performing Arts Middle

Joel Ashur, Louis E. Davis, and Afsheen Misaghi in “Bars and Measures.” Photograph by Chris Banks.

There are various tales about individuals who endure intense generally unimaginable struggling by escaping by means of their artwork. Artwork, in spite of everything, has the facility to deliver magnificence even within the midst of that which has no hope of ever being lovely. And that appears to be one of many main themes of Idris Goodwin’s new play “Bars and Measures”—how folks can maintain their hopes and desires regardless of dealing with a Sisyphean future.

…for the avid theatergoer, the music lover, the jazz aficionado, and people who simply need to expertise an evening of considerate and provocative leisure.

When the play opens, we discover Bilal in jail and his brother Eric is visiting him. They’re each singing and scatting. Jazz will not be solely their music of alternative, but it surely additionally seems to be the first language that the brothers have between them—a deep love and appreciation for the artwork kind inherited from their father. Jazz is their lifestyle. For Bilal specifically, jazz can also be his sole technique of survival in a jail system that tries to interrupt him by means of extended durations of solitary confinement and what quantities to hunger.

The piece facilities largely across the relationship between Eric and Bilal as they battle to grasp one another in order that they will rediscover methods to like each other. Bilal (previously Darryl) had given a considerable sum of money to an area mosque. Incensed with the remedy of Muslims, he sought some accessible approach to have an effect. A collection of circumstances result in his arrest on terrorism fees. Eric, in the meantime, begins this play as one thing of the everlasting optimist, at the least the place his brother is anxious. Holding a profit live performance to assist Bilal’s trigger, Eric finally should come nose to nose with the implications of his enduring optimism, in additional methods than one.

Mosaic Theater’s manufacturing of “Bars and Measures” does an incredible job of spotlighting the fluidity of Goodwin’s phrases together with the facility of the actors’ voices. Joel Ashur’s efficiency as Eric vacillates between the naïve child brother who must develop up and the enlightened man who’s seen into truths of which he by no means requested to be a component. His transformation on this play is extraordinary. It’s, nevertheless, Louis E. Davis’ Bilal who consumes the highlight. He powerfully places the challenges that hang-out him, given the America he lives in, entrance and middle, whereas additionally doing a spectacular job of depicting the inventive drive, the inherent musical soul, and the ever-abiding hope of the character. It’s actually a memorable efficiency. The flexibility of Lynette Rathnam, as each Eric’s potential love curiosity and Bilal’s lawyer, is a lot enjoyable to observe. Afsheen Misaghi, who additionally performs a number of components because the jail guard, Sadeem, and the prosecuting lawyer, helps spherical out what’s a totally pleasing forged—this group of actors is certainly a coup for Mosaic.

Reginald L. Douglas, Mosaic’s inventive director, takes the reins for this one. His course lends one other layer of music to the play and splendidly realizes the complete symphony that Goodwin’s script has the potential to be. Paige Hathaway’s scenic design creates an ambiance actually reflective of the loneliness Bilal should be experiencing in jail. This loneliness consequently carries over into Eric’s part of the set: the room housing his piano—unaccompanied, given the absence of his brother. Lighting by John D. Alexander and sound design by David Lamont Wilson are additionally key gamers on this manufacturing. The expertise would definitely not be the identical with out the fullness you get when all components come collectively as superbly as they do right here. “Bars and Measures” is for the avid theatergoer, the music lover, the jazz aficionado, and people who simply need to expertise an evening of considerate and provocative leisure.

Operating time: 80 minutes with no intermission. 

“Bars and Measures” will run by means of February 26, 2023 at Mosaic Theater Firm at Atlas Performing Arts Middle, 1333 H Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002. For extra info and to buy tickets, click on right here. Masks are nonetheless required in efficiency areas and theaters, 

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