(lct) If you were lucky and canny enough to snag a membership in the Lincoln Center Theater when it was available, then you were able to see this and other LCT plays at half price. But even if you didn’t, it’s worth paying the fairly reasonable $55-82 to see it. You can join the waiting list at http://editor.ne16.com/Subscribe/Form.ashx to be notified of the next opportunity to join.
“The Rolling Stone” is playing at the Mitzi Newhouse, an exquisite small theater underneath the larger Vivian Beaumont, with perfect sight lines and audibility. Directed by Saheem Ali, Chris Urch’s play takes place in 2010 Uganda when gay men were prohibited from having relationships.(playbill) The penalty had formerly been death, but in 2013, it was changed to life imprisonment. According to the play’s notes, this homophobic attitude was introduced by Christian missionaries who brought their beliefs into the country in the previous century.
The tale of Dembe, a young gay Ugandan man and Sam, his Irish lover, is woven into the life of his Christian family, especially his passionate but intolerant pastor brother and his understanding sister. (lct)
Dembe’s struggles to reconcile his feelings for his family with his unalterable love for his partner constitute a painful and often frightening situation for him.
As with everything produced by LCT, the performance and the performers are of the highest Broadway quality. This powerful play reminds us of our continuing intolerance for those who love differently while at the same time we get an odd look back at how things used to be, and still are in some places, so much worse.
Performed with no sets, (broadwayblog) original music and sound by Justin Ellington underscore the action. The American and English cast speak and sing what sounds to us like Ugandan-accented English to create what feels like a genuine African environment. Still in previews, the show opens July 19. Scoop it.