For most shows, I’ll boldly say ‘take my advice’ and leave it at that. Who else do you need to listen to? For Nine Night, however, the debut play from Natasha Gordon, I’m going to say sure, heed my advice, but maybe listen to a few other voices as well. This play, while promising and entertaining, has a few core problems that keep it from being great (which we will discuss). But, one of the biggest problems with my experience is that I am hella white, like so white it’s pronounced ‘ha wite’ (which is funny because both my halves are groups that white supremacists consider or have considered non-white!). I’m not saying that people of any background aren’t able to enjoy a play about any other kind of person; that’s literally the point of theatre. But my hwiteness kept me from actually understanding the heavy Jamaican-British hybrid accents of some of the characters. I know, it’s embarrassing. If I were willing to ever break my cardinal rule of theatergoing (which is “everyone shut the fork up!”) I would have been like those old people in movies going ‘what did he say?...what did she say?’ I mainly missed what lines were so funny that the audience would crack up, which is a shame because the one-liners seem to be everyone else’s favorite part of the play. Without the jokes, the central issues with the plot and the characters became more obvious to me, making Nine Night, while enjoyable, feel less than fully formed.
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