Sunday, June 16, 2024

‘Fetch Clay Make Man’ on Stage Now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Play by Will Power-directed by Debbie Allen makes Center Theatre Group debut

Ray Fisher in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography
Ray Fisher in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography

*A boxing hero and a Hollywood legend’s backstory is reimagined in “Fetch Clay Make Man” by internationally acclaimed playwright Will Power.

It’s on stage now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (in Culver City, CA) and is presented by The Center Theatre Group and The SpringHill Company, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

“Fetch Clay Make Man” is directed by Emmy winner Debbie Allen.  This marks her directorial debut with the Center Theatre Group.

The play takes audiences behind the scenes with champion boxer Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay), and Lincoln Perry, who is affectionately known as Stepin Fetchit.

The terms of Stepin Fetchit’s endearment are elusive. His character was loved by some and hated by others. The man behind the character is Lincoln Perry.

From L to R: Ray Fisher and Edwin Lee Gibson in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography
From L to R: Ray Fisher and Edwin Lee Gibson in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography

Stepin Fetchit was a Vaudeville comedian and film actor whose career peaked in the mid-1930s. He was the first Black actor to earn $1 million. However, the Stepin Fetchit character was painfully aloof and lazy. But was he?

Did he outsmart his superiors? Did he beat Hollywood at their own game or was he a sellout, perpetuating stereotypes that the race was fighting hard to overcome?

Playwright Will Power pulls back the curtains and proposes a more calculated dichotomy of Stepin Fetchit and Lincoln Perry.

From L to R: Ray Fisher and Edwin Lee Gibson in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography
From L to R: Ray Fisher and Edwin Lee Gibson in “Fetch Clay, Make Man” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre June 18 through July 16, 2023, produced in association with The SpringHill Company. Photo credit: Craig Schwartz Photography

Edwin Lee Gibson’s portrayal is riveting, luring the audience back and forth between the seemingly dim-witted Stepin Fetchit and the razer-sharp Lincoln Perry, who was Hollywood’s highest-paid Black star of the day.

Ray Fisher as Muhammad Ali is poetry in motion. Built like Adonis and reeking with Muhammad Ali’s infectious charm, Fisher fires off Ali’s socio-political dogma with religious conviction.

Ray Fisher, left, as Muhammad Ali and Edwin Lee Gibson as Stepin Fetchit, with Wilkie Ferguson III, in 'Fetch Clay, Make Man' (Craig Schwartz)
Ray Fisher, left, as Muhammad Ali and Edwin Lee Gibson as Stepin Fetchit, with Wilkie Ferguson III, in ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man’ – Photo: Craig Schwartz)

This is good entertainment and a great night at the theatre. The cast is rounded out by Alexis Floyd, Wilkie Ferguson III, and Bruce Nozick.

The play runs through July 16, 2023. Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p. m.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232. Tickets are currently on sale and start at $30. For details go to: www.CentreTheatreGroup.org.

RELATED NEWS ON EURWEB: ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ Opens in Los Angeles 

We Publish News 24/7. Don’t Miss A Story. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to Our Newsletter Now!

YOU MAY LIKE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SEARCH

- Advertisement -

TRENDING