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Those completely new to the concept of a one man show should be aware that this is a piece that is reliant on words and performance. Aside from a couple of props and a creatively used backdrop that sets any particular scene, there is nothing here to watch except for Fishburne. So if you require extravagant production values or excessive visual stimulation, attending or watching a one man show may seem akin to watching grass grow. But if you appreciate engaging and intelligent wordplay and enjoy relevant history or even down home storytelling, it's hard not to be caught up in this delightful presentation.Read more ›
I have always complained that a severe problem with American actors is they have never confronted their audience - unlike the British, who spend years performing in the streets, at Shakespeare's old haunts and tiny old theaters. The British practically lay (or jump into) the audience's lap. Americans have no idea what an "audience" is.
In THURGOOD, Lawrence Fishburne, about whom I know little other than he's an actor I love, portrays USSC Justice Thurgood Marshall, a man who was a hero to both me and my father. Hoofing about onstage at the John F. Kennedy Center, before a live audience no more than a few feet from him, Fishburne shoulders this awesome one-man-play film with such cool, studied professionalism, I felt like it was actually Marshall.
But I know all along it is Fishburne and his amazing talent. He begins old, hobbled as I recall Marshall when he announced his retirement. Then Fishburne does the amazing: he ages backward twice, with nothing more (nothing less!) than his skill. Once he ages backward to middle age, then again to about his 30s. At the end, in the space of about ten minutes, he ages back to 'old age'. And he nails Marshall spot-on, voice, gestures, jokes and foul language that were hallmarks I recall very well.
This play mainly covers the story of Marshall's rise to fame in the law, describing his major lifetime accomplishments. It is sadly thin on his Supreme Court years because he did have a habit of simply concurring with Justice Stevens and nothing more. The play is happily thin on gimmickry, but I did not like the music competing with Fishburne's lines.Read more ›
Howard University auditorium is the location HBO chose to film it and it proved the perfect locale. Fishburne even incorporates a couple of late arrivers to the show into the performance for good effect.
History, humor, humanity and drama blend here in a way you have never seen before and may never seen again. I intend to buy copies to donate to several local schools.
Laurence Fishburne has indeed come a long way from Cornbread, Earl, and Me. He made his mark in his compelling portrayal of a struggling African-American father with fierce integrity in Boyz In the Hood and since then he has more than become the consummate actor. He has maintained an air of integrity around him and his characterizations regardless of the weaknesses seem to possess at the very least a measure of dignity.
This performance can certainly be counted as an accomplishment. Understanding of the world then is made very personal and thus very easy to relate to. Fisburne wonderfully exemplifies Marshall's strengths and poignantly reveals his weaknesses in this intriguing, very informative, difficult, colloquial, sad, and funny one-man show. The wonderful photography and sound effects combine to make for a compelling evening of theater. Fishburne is in his element portraying the very human and ultimately exceptional example of leadership in the fight for civil rights. I was a teenager when Marshall was appointed in the 60s and can assure you it was indeed a VERY tumultuous time. It was eerie trying to celebrate and appreciate the magnitude of this progress while cities were going up in flames all around you.....and on a fairly regular basis.
.....obviously this was far more than an excellent theater production for me.....but isn't this just what good art form is supposed to do?!! :0)
I highly recommend this as not only an excellent one-man show with a tour-de-force performance but as more than a worthy addition to any movie library! It has something to say to ANY disenfranchised community.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding performance and account of Justice Marshall's life by Laurence Fishburne!Published 3 months ago by Elijah
I seldom feel compelled to write reviews for products when I have little to complement what has already been reviewed. This is my exception. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. Barrett
Would love if he were back in the supreme court. At present, there are only a few sitting justices with any notion of integrity and compassion. Read morePublished 14 months ago by M.L.Rigdon