Don’t Miss Miss Evers’ Boys at Hard BargainBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jun 19th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Hard Bargain Players production of Miss Evers’ Boys [MP3 4:09 1.2MB].
Laura: We saw the Hard Bargain Players production of Miss Evers’ Boys in Accokeek, Maryland.
Mike: Miss Evers’ Boys details Eunice Evers. She was a nurse and she was part of the Tuskegee Experiment which took place from the 1930’s through the 1970’s studying syphilis in over 400 black men in Alabama.
Laura: It was a really powerful show. I enjoyed it very much. It was deply moving. Since we’ve been doing reviews at the end of productions. There have been a couple I have done a standing ovation for and Saturday was one of them. It was intense, extremely emotional, but extremely, extremely well acted.
Mike: I agree, this was a very powerful show. The seven actors that came together to bring this to the stage did a great job. Each character that they played was very personable, and you felt like you really knew that person. The four actors that were the subjects of this experiment had different personalities. They all came together as a singing group. Some were married, one was older. They were a good group of guys altogether.
Laura: Eunice Evers was the nurse who took care of the boys for many years in Alabama. She was plyed by Rhonda Gayle Carney. Again it was a great performance. The emotion that she displayed towards the boys when she began to realize that this may not be the best thing for them was really powerful and moving.
Mike: The four men were Caleb Humphries played by Jason Nious, Willie Johnson played by Terry Spann, Ben Washington was played by George Mayfield and Hodman Bryan was played by Kenny Cooper. These four men did a great job. They all did their step routines really well. Terry Spann playing Willie Johnson did a really good job near the end of the show as the syphilis had started to affect the muscles in his legs and his legs and he could not dance as well. He did a very effective portrayal of not being able to dance well. Earlier in the show he was doing very impressive steps. Seeing tht deterioration was very effective. The character played by George Mayfield, Ben Washington, was not ashmed of not being able to read. But it was a very touching scene when he was talking to the nurse and trying to spell out the name Ben. Seeing him figuring out what the letter “B” looked like and “E” and “N” was a very nice scene.
Laura: The two doctors in Miss Evers’ Boys were Dr. Eugene Brodus, played by Earl Harris and Dr. John Douglas played by David Timmerman. They also did a good job. It was interesting to watch throughout the performance that Dr. Brodus’ conscience started to get to him towards the end of the performance. I could see in him the questioning and the doubt in his mind about this experiment that was going on. Whereas Dr. John Douglas I think was not able to see the forest for the trees and was more interested in getting aid from Washington than looking in to what was happening to these men in Alabama. But I though they both gave a really strong performance as well.
Mike: We did research a little bit on the internet about the Tuskegee Experiment. Some of the websites we found did contradict some of the things that were said in the show. You can’t take this as strict gospel, but it was a really good story. It did make us want to research it more because we really didn’t know a lot about the details of the Tuskegee Experiment.
Laura: I definitely recommend that you see this show. It was really well done. Miss Evers’ Boys is playing at the Hard Bargain Amphitheater Fridays and Saturdays through July 1 at 8:00 in Accokeek, Maryland.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.