Review: Tales of Brutality From ‘Twelve Angry Men … and Women’

The on the spot the string quartet completed, the police automotive was there: crimson and blue lights flashing, siren screaming because it approached.

On Saturday night in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, a masked crowd had gathered to observe a dwell efficiency being filmed on the Black Lives Matter mural that stretches down the middle of Fulton Street — the Billie Holiday Theater’s highly effective studying of “12 Angry Men … and Women: The Weight of the Wait,” a documentary collage of monologues about harassment, intimidation and violence by police towards Black people who find themselves merely going about their enterprise.

The music, performed by members of the New York Philharmonic, had been the overture, however now got here this, a sudden shattering of the peace, intrusive and unnerving. When the automotive stopped, we might see it at shut vary by way of the set, a row of 5 cubicles lined up like solo levels for the forged, every with three plexiglass sides and an upstage scrim.

The car’s strobes stayed on, and so did its headlights, silhouetting the 4 actors and one violinist (the wonderful Daniel Bernard Roumain) as they took their locations. OK, then — it was positively half of the present, the primary Actors’ Equity-approved manufacturing to happen in pandemic New York City. Its extraordinary, socially distanced design (significantly notable: Devin Cameron Jewett’s lighting and projections) took full visible and emotional benefit of the placement.

In the other stories, no one dies; they suffer physical and psychic violence and live to tell the tale.

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