Keith Randolph-Smith, Crystal Fox, and Tyrone Mitchell Henderson in the 2014/15 production of Blues for an Alabama Sky. Photo by Jeff Roffman.

Teen Ensemble Reviews Too Heavy for Your Pocket

Our teen ensemble had the opportunity to see Too Heavy for Your Pocket and share their thoughts. Read what they had to say:

Too Heavy for Your Pocket, by Jiréh Breon Holder, is an absolute must see... Seriously. Not only will it make you gut wrench laugh and heart wrench cry, it is an essential story for anyone today.

Though the story is set in the 1960's, in the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and centers around the famed Freedom Rides, it is very much about our future. It teaches us that if we are not willing to sacrifice our privilege, we will never see the future we desperately long for. The play tells the story of Bowzie (Stephen Ruffin), Evelyn (Ebony Flowers), Sally (Markita Prescott), and Tony (Rob Demery), as they figure out early marriage, family, and commitment, along with what it meant to be black in the 60's.

The four actors create a beautiful ensemble, working together in moments of comedy and turmoil. You can see how the bond the individuals have offstage translates into creating this wacky, loving family onstage. As if Holder's articulate and poetic words weren't enough, the pages live and breathe through these four. It is all topped off with amazing costumes (Sydney Roberts), sets (Reid Thompson), sound (Elisheba Ittoop), and lighting (Liz Lee).

Too Heavy for Your Pocket runs through February 26th at the Hertz Stage. Ultimately, you will not want to miss out on this play before it heads off to New York in Roundabout Theatre Company's upcoming season. You'll be wishing you had said, “I saw it way back when”. 

Austin, 12th grade

Even days after seeing Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket, it resonates with me unlike anything else. It is told simply but poetically and speaks to any audience.

Laughton, 11th grade

Too Heavy for Your Pocket was literally too heavy for your pocket. This new play by Jiréh Breon Holder embodies a side of the 60's we never get to see. We are always able to see the activist, to see the hurt, but we are never able to see the families at home, their typical issues and how they had to cope. Eboni Flowers, who I must say was my favorite character , in my opinion, embodied exactly what a strong woman who knew what she wanted , knew her worth and valued herself more than any marriage would, to me, be like in that time period. Markita Prescott showed the ambiance of the 1960's woman. From the way her hands shook when she received bad news, to the dependence of the lords word and her obligation to uphold her vows and respect her marriage could in no way shape or form be done any better than how she portrayed that character on stage. Rob Demery was a wonderful Tony. The one thing I truly loved about his character was his body and his body language. Without a voice, I could tell his story from the way he moved. From the way he held Sally, to the way he kissed Evelyn, to the way he would grab Bowzie in his time of need. I felt his character was well developed. Stephen, that Stephen Ruffin! Wow! Wow! Wow! There aren't enough wows in the world to express how phenomenal he was. When he played Bowzie, I felt like I knew Bowzie myself. Like I wasn't watching a play about his story, and his family and friends’ stories, but more so I was living it with him. Like when he couldn't get in contact with Evelyn, I felt his sadness, I felt his questionable manner, and I felt his hurt. But I felt that with nearly all of the characters. And let me not forget the set, and costumes and just wow. If this play does not leave you with something to think about then I guess we are not watching the same play because I am astonished.

Rachael, 12th grade

Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder is a beautiful tale about real people. Everything was simply amazing. The set was an impeccable interpretation of real life in the set time period. The cast gave a performance full of real raw emotion, inviting the audience into the world of hardship and perseverance. A show to see again and again!

Sherifa, 12th grade

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