If you saw and enjoyed the ‘fight’ scene (i.e., canvas preparation) in the play “Red,” then hasten to Studio Theatre to see the current production of “Sucker Punch.”
There is a scene toward the end of the hour and a half, no intermission production that is even better than that wonderful scene in “Red.”
“Sucker Punch” is a play about boxing, and much more , but ultimately it is the boxing that wins the day. You don’t have to like or care about boxing to enjoy it, and you don’t have to worry about any grizzly scenes.
According to the dramaturg’s note in the program, “Roy Williams (the playwright) is the son of Jamaican immigrants and grew up in London during the 1980s. He was inspired to write “Sucker Punch” when he realized how little today’s teens know about the violent clashes between minority youth and police throughout the ‘80s.”
Williams sets his play in a decaying gym South London in 1981 and alternates between the personal stories of the main characters and what is occurring in the UK in the ‘80s. The story is credible and involving.
But it is the acting and the staging, particularly the choreography of the various fights that makes it worth your attention and attendance.
Sheldon Best as Leon and Emmanuel Brown as Troy are new to this area, and both are terrific. Sean Gormley as Charlie and Michael Rogers as Leon’s father are also quite good.
In the most memorable scene of the play, Best and Brown engage in a 10 round, choreographed ‘dance’ that suddenly makes boxing something better than you ever imagined it could be. With the help of fight choreographer Rick Sordelet, Best and Brown treat us to 10 minutes (?) of the best theater I’ve seen in DC in a number of years.
“Sucker Punch” is scheduled to close April 8. I hope that it will be extended, but try to see it. I suspect you will thoroughly enjoy the evening.