Magic Theatre presents magical ‘Brothers’

“The Brothers Size,” billed as part two of up-and-comer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s three-part “Brother/Sister Plays” about the black experience in the Louisiana bayou, is a more intimate, emotionally resonating offering than its predecessor, the more ethereal “In the Red and Brown Water.”

Magic Theatre opened “Brothers Size” Tuesday just a week after Marin Theatre Company launched, and already extended, “Water.”

Next month, American Conservatory Theater gets the third in the series of linked plays (featuring some of the same characters), “Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet,” underway in a complementary effort being lauded by Bay Area theater lovers.

It’s going to be hard to top “Brothers Size,” a funny, invigorating, heartfelt story of two siblings — the older, straight-laced Ogun (Joshua Elijah Reese), a mechanic, and the younger, troubled Oshoosi (Tobie Windham), unemployed and home from a stint in jail — who, in this 80-minute snapshot of a show, try to come to terms with their lives.

Directed with intelligence and economy by Octavio Solis, the appealing — and yes, hunky — actors are vivid, wonderfully interpreting McCraney’s often theatrical piece, in which stage directions become elements of the dialogue (“Ogun smiles,” “Oshoosi exits,” etc.), adding a sometimes interesting, though not transformative, effect.

Handling the poetry and “add-ons” with finesse, Reese and Windham also keep the guys’ interactions remarkably real, from the show’s humorous start to its intense, moving finish. 

The brothers’ lives are shaken up when Elegba (Alex Ubokudom), a friend who spent time “in the pen” with Oshooshi, arrives, not only bringing an operating car — and the promise and consequences of real freedom for Oshoohi — but also triggering tough memories of difficult days.

With little in the way of scenery or props — just a rope, chain and tires — the setting is nonetheless concrete, aided by Sarah Sidman’s evocative lighting design, which perfectly underscores the action and characterizations. 

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

THEATER REVIEW

The Brothers Size

Where: Magic Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

When: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays; closes Oct. 17

Tickets: $20 to $60

Contact: (415) 441-8822; www.magictheatre.org

artsentertainmentMagic TheatreThe Brothers Size

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

DA drops charges against man seen in video of officer using knee restraint

Footage leads to calls for SF police to explicity ban move used in death of George Floyd

SF mayor to end curfew after Wednesday night

Breed: ‘We know that the overwhelming majority of people out protesting are doing so peacefully’

New charges announced against former police officers over George Floyd death

By Molly O’Toole, Elliot Wailoo and Erin B. Logan Los Angeles Times… Continue reading

Bayview charter school sues SFUSD for more classroom space

Nonprofit calls proposed Treasure Island move a ‘bad faith offer’

Supes move to reject Breed’s picks for police oversight body, call for strong reformers

Ronen, Mar cite qualification concerns in voting against Police Commission nominees

Most Read