Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea
Nathan Alan Davis
The Pear Theatre
Eighteen-year-old Dontrell is the kind of son any mother would be so proud to have: Straight A’s throughout school, all AP classes, and now only three weeks before beginning his first semester at John Hopkins University. But his mom cannot stop praying every day that the “t-minus 21” countdown of days ends with his actually matriculating. Something warns her in both her mother’s intuition and the nagging knowledge that the men in his father’s side of the family “can only hold it together so much, prone to sabotage themselves.” As she tells her niece, I pray “just one prayer to get him there … but why do I feel like I am praying for the sun not to set?”
Indeed, heritage of ancestors and history reaching all the way back to the packed, slave ships crossing the Middle Passage play a big part in life-changing decisions Dontrell is about to make. In Nathan Alan Davis’ Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, his journey to find himself and his roots as a young, Black man takes on both epic and surreal proportions where the boundaries between dreams and reality become more and more indiscernible. Free-form dance movements, surrounding Greek-like chorus responses, and appearances of ancestral spirits– all often bringing strong hints of long-ago Africa – are part of the oft-watery, dream-like world in The Pear Theatre’s production of Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, now playing in repertory with a new physical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein entitled Frankenstein: Unbound.
For my complete review, please continue to Talkin’ Broadway.
Rating: 3 E
Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea continues in repertory through February 26, 2023 with Frankenstein: Unbound at The Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida, Suite A, Mountain View, CA. Tickets are available at www.thepear.org . Please note: Masks are required to be worn by all audience members.
Photo credits: Caitlin Stone-Collonge