Jamaica Play Analysis

Topics: Theatre, Actor, Performance, Audience / Pages: 5 (1080 words) / Published: Mar 24th, 2017
Jamaica Review You walk into a small, dark auditorium called “Theater B” in the Aaron Davis Hall at the City College of New York. There is no division of the area of what is assumed to be the stage and the beginning of the audience, except for a large black wall with a screen projected onto it. As you wait for the production to start, the only thing that appears on the wall is a quote: “Oh innocent victims of cupid, remember this little verse, to let a fool kiss you is stupid, to let a kiss fool you is even worse”- Yip Harburg
This was the beginning of Saturday, March 18th’s viewing of Yip Harburg’s musical, Jamaica, directed by (insert person’s name here). Divided into four acts, the CCNY version of Jamaica tells the story of the people
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Through her mannerisms and body language, Sintim was able to attract an audience and make them have an enjoyable time through her comedic role. However, like many of the actors in this production, the Jamaican accent she put on was hard to understand, making a lot of the words sound mushed together. It may have been a sound error on the sound board operator’s end, but in any case an actor should always make sure they can be heard clearly through any mic they speak out of. Another actor that caught my eye was Jason Johnson, who played the leading male role of Koli. He executed every single line with a raw emotion, which allowed the average audience member to empathize with the character, even though his singing wasn’t the best. On the subject of singing, the actor that had the most memorable singing role was no other than the leading lady Savannah, played by Corean Robinson. What she lacked in her acting performance, she made up with her deep and rich voice that managed to move many in the audience. However, there were times where a track would be played and the singer of the original production, Lena Horne, would be heard alongside Robinson. Though some may find this to be a sort of “tribute” to Lena Horne, I found it to be a kind of inconvenience that took away the emotion and execution from a brilliant singer. As for the rest of the …show more content…
The setup of the stage was very minimalistic, with only four of five crates being used for various things the majority of the show. Also set up was a projection image that changes according to what the location of the scene was or what song was being sang. Although I admire the use of minimalistic sets, for the purpose being that it really directs your focus to the actual performance, I would have liked it if they set the scene more with other props. They did try to set a scene by using the projection, but it came off as kind of lazy to me. However, in the fantasy sequence where Joe makes Savannah imagine her life as one of the New York elites, I admire the way they used both the projection and various props (like a door, tables, etc.) to really make you feel as if you were in a luxury restaurant. Other props that were used were various forms of puppets. The comedic elements conveyed by the monkeys in the “Monkey in the Mango Tree” song really helped to bring down some tension caused by the N-word scene of the play, which really helped to fully encompass one of the central themes: racism. Another element I would like to mention is the use of sound in Jamaica. The playbill mentioned to have a pianist, (other I), and (other I), but it was barely noticeable. The only sound that was heard was the various tracks played through a speaker, with some of them not being

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