The Fall of Heaven

 

the-fall-of-heaven
The Fall of Heaven

By Walter Mosely

Directed by Daniel Bryant

Produced by Congo Square Theatre

At the Beacon Street Theatre (former home of the Black Ensemble)

Power performances and power script equals a wonderful night of theatre

Playwright Walter Mosley sure knows how to blend a Biblical story into a lesson about humanity by way of a very human common man as that man defies heaven and an angel sent to valuate him.  His pla,y The Fall of Heaven, now playing at the Beacon Street Theatre, is smartly directed by Daniel Bryant is a rare treat!

Tempest (Anthony Irons) is shot and killed by police.  While waiting for his final judgment in limbo, he witnesses folks being condemned to hell for their sins. When his turn comes, St. Peter quickly outlines his sins and decries he must go to hell but Tempest protests stating that he has reasons to explain his actions and refuses to go to hell. He then is sent back to earth with an angel named Joshua (Boise Holmes) for the purpose of having Tempest explain and justify his life as he demonstrates how his lifestyle is the sum of all his actions and that his good acts out does any evil acts. Joshua, in order to fully appreciate Tempest’s humanity, is forced to take on a human form.

congo square theatre

We see the two-sides of Tempest and we realize that he is a human in all its flawed and contradictory forms. Joshua, as his basic humanity emerges, takes on the urges and foibles of humanity as he must survive by working a job and his human urges lead him into the arms of  Tempest’s girl Branwyn (Jessica Dean Tolson). When Tempest realizes that Joshua has his girl, he leaves town determined to do evil towards Joshua. In New Orleans (where else?) he meets Bob (Jordan Brown), Lucifer himself. Together Tempest and Bob return to NYC to confront Joshua and to possibly bring down heaven and unleash as the condemned from hell. Tempest now realizes that he has that power.

We see in this cleverly plotted and humorous, almost lyrical work, what a basically common man really is a good man. Tempest is performed with an amazing blend of street-wise antics and solid sense of righteousness by the talents Anthony Irons. He moves from hipster to sincere mensch with loads of irony and humor.  We empathize with him. Equal to Irons’ terrific work is that of Boise Holmes as the commanding angel turned into a frail human. Holmes’ powerful voice and his basic gentleness nicely present the higher spirit. With fine supporting work from Krenee A.Turner as the former girl friend and the receptionist and Jessica Dean Turner, as the mother of Joshua’s child and the strong. almost stunning, work by Jordan Brown as Lucifer, The Fall of Heaven is a most captivating and thoroughly engrossing  play.

The Fall of Heaven can be enjoyed on several levels: it is a morality play (good vs. evil); a human comedy; and a hopeful tribute to humanity. It is also as finely constructed and stage theatrical production. Congo Square proves once more that they produce outstanding theatre.  Don’t miss this unique show.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2013

For more info checkout The Fall of Heaven page at theatreinchicago.com

At the Beacon Street Theatre, 4520 N. Beacon St., chicago, IL, call 773-296-1108, www.congosquaretheatre.org,  Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Saturday matinee at 3 pm, Sundays at 3:30 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission, through March 24, 2013