MENU

WGBH'S JARED BOWEN REVIEWS TOPDOG/UNDERDOG

Listen on WGBH

Read the transcript of the interview:

"Superbly directed, with chemistry that will make you want to watch the show on repeat."

Jared Bowen: It just opened last night at the Huntington Theatre Company; this is playing through April 9th. It is a very resonant time for this piece, as you mentioned it’s been around for a long time. It’s written by Suzan-Lori Parks, she won the Pulitzer Prize for it in 2002. This is superbly directed with chemistry that will make you want to watch the show on repeat. And despite its penetrating humor, Topdog/Underdog offers an existential look at America to make your head drop in despair. Really what you have here are these two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, they’re African American. Lincoln is playing Lincoln in white face at an arcade where he’s shot every day and returns to the one room that he shares with his brother Booth. And you see these brothers tussle about everything from their childhood, to loves, to where they are today. I should mention this is staged in this room that seems to hover but it’s rimmed in spikes so you have this feeling that if they step out of their world just a little bit, it’s going to be precarious and not end well for them. Lincoln is a three card monte hustler, his younger brother wants to get the edge up on him, and here’s a taste of these two brothers fighting over this card scam:

 

BOOTH: Come on man, we could make money you and me. Throwing’ down the cards, Three-Card and Link! Look out! We’d clean up you and me. You would throw the cards, and I’d be your stick man – the one in the crowd that looks like just an innocent passerby, like just another player, like just another customer, but who’s got intimate connections with you, the main man, the dealer, the one throwing the cards. You do your moves and I do mine, you turn your head –
LINCOLN: It aint as easy as all that!
BOOTH: Come on we could be a team, man!

 

Jared: You sense that firecracker energy there Bob. Booth is played by Matthew J. Harris and Lincoln is played by Tyrone Mitchell Henderson. I haven’t seen chemistry on the stage in a long time. These two actors, these two men are just fabulous together. I want to make mention of one quick line that makes this a Pulitzer Prize winning piece by Suzan-Lori Parks. She writes, I’m paraphrasing here, “People like their history in a certain way. They like it to unfold the way they fold it up, neatly like a book.” Very very poignant.

Prices & Seating


Section
Performance Day AA A B C D
PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening;
Sunday matinee
$99 $85 $70 $55 $25
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening;
Saturday matinee
$87 $75 $55 $43 $25
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening; Wednesday matinee $76 $63 $48 $38 $25
PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening; Sunday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$99
A
$85
B
$70
C
$55
D
$25
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening; Saturday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$87
A
$75
B
$55
C
$43
D
$25
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening; Wednesday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$76
A
$63
B
$48
C
$38
D
$25

Prices may vary and are subject to change at any time.

View Seating Chart  |  Get Directions

Discount Ticket Prices

  Prices
Active Military and Veterans and Immediate Families
$20 with promo code MILITARY
Student (25 years and younger)
(No AA)
$20
Section D (Huntington Avenue Theatre);
Last Row (Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
Additional discounts may not be applied to section D seats at the Huntington Avenue Theatre and last row seats at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
$25
BU Community $10 off
Seniors (65 years or older) $5 off
35 Below (35 years and younger)
(No AA)
Learn more about our 35 Below program
$30

Learn more about our Discount Ticket Programs.


Section
Performance Day AA A B C D
PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening;
Sunday matinee
$99 $85 $70 $55 $25
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening;
Saturday matinee
$87 $75 $55 $43 $25
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening; Wednesday matinee $76 $63 $48 $38 $25
PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening; Sunday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$99
A
$85
B
$70
C
$55
D
$25
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening; Saturday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$87
A
$75
B
$55
C
$43
D
$25
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening; Wednesday matinee
Section
Price
AA
$76
A
$63
B
$48
C
$38
D
$25

Prices may vary and are subject to change at any time.

View Seating Chart  |  Get Directions

Discount Ticket Prices

  Prices
Active Military and Veterans and Immediate Families
$20 with promo code MILITARY
Student (25 years and younger)
(No AA)
$20
Section D (Huntington Avenue Theatre);
Last Row (Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
Additional discounts may not be applied to section D seats at the Huntington Avenue Theatre and last row seats at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
$25
BU Community $10 off
Seniors (65 years or older) $5 off
35 Below (35 years and younger)
(No AA)
Learn more about our 35 Below program
$30

Learn more about our Discount Ticket Programs.

Seatmap

Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

© 2017 Huntington Theatre Company. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.