Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

The Scottsboro Boys

The songwriting team of Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago), in their last collaboration before the latter's death in 2004, go for Chicago-like irony in recounting an infamous civil rights case from the 1930s — in which nine black Southern youths were unjustly convicted of raping two white women — as a jaded minstrel show. The gears don't always mesh; the show could have used a little more history, and a little more razzmatazz too. But Susan Stroman's courageous, dance-filled production doesn't trivialize the issues, and Joshua Henry gives a powerful performance as the most prominent of the unfairly accused.