In his finest scene, King delivers a stirring speech about “walking an invisible line” and looking as if he’s “disappearing from himself.” Later, when Reggie talks about blowing up and losing his cool with the big (presumably white) boss upstairs, some members of the opening-night audience took it as a hilarious anecdote. To the actor’s infinite credit, however, others likely appreciated the moment for what it truly was – profoundly moving.
With Jude at the helm of the occasionally sluggish show, rounding out True Colors’ four-member ensemble are relative newcomers Anthony Campbell and Asia Howard. He plays Dez, a misunderstood young man with dreams of opening an auto repair shop, and she’s Shanita, an expectant, single mother with certain prophetic dreams of her own. (And kudos to Bradley Bergeron, whose projection design suggests the plant’s larger workforce most effectively.)
Morisseau may not be another August Wilson – nor Jude another Tony Award-winning Kenny Leon, for that matter – but “Skeleton Crew” is not without its merits, either. Chief among them are a pair of powerhouse performances by Jackson and King that deserve to be seen.
Through March 10. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays (excluding March 1); 2:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; 11 a.m. Wednesdays (Feb. 20 and March 6 only); 11 a.m. Friday (March 1 only). $15-$40. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849. truecolorstheatre.org.
Bottom line: At times heavy-handed and meandering, but the actors work hard to keep it on track.