Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WHITE GUY ON THE BUS by Carol Kaufman Segal
            The title, White Guy on the Bus, is enough to relate to us that this play is about racism.  Written by Bruce Graham and directed by Stewart J. Zully, it begins in a light manner but builds up to an unexpected explosive climax.
            Ray (Kevin McKorkle), a well-to-do financial manager and his wife Roz (Amy Stoch) live in an affluent community in Philadelphia.  Roz is a dedicated teacher in an inner-city school where she faces challenging students on a daily basis.  Their relationship is close and loving.  Having no children of their own, Ray and Roz have become surrogate parents to a neighbor, Christopher (Crash Bruist) and his wife Molly (Teagan Rose).           
            Christopher is working on his Ph.D.  having to do with African Americans as CEO’s and Molly also works at a school, albeit a school in an up-scale neighborhood.  On an evening when the four of them gather together, their conversation ends up in a debate regarding racial issues and the differences in their philosophies.
            Suddenly the scene has a complete about face and we find Ray on a Saturday afternoon riding on a bus that goes through the indigent parts of town.  He begins a conversation with Shatique (Kacie Rogers), the young African American woman sitting next to him.  During the conversation, he learns a great deal about her.  But why is this man riding a bus through this part of town each week, and why the interest in the woman he sits next to each time?
            In a stunning scene, when Ray shows up at Shatique’s apartment with a disturbing proposition, he has become an entirely transformed and frightening individual, and we discover the answers to those questions.  The subject matter of Graham’s play is relevant, but the play is difficult to follow due to the way it is structured, the plot being rather unbelievable, but with a wonderful cast bringing it to life.

            White Guy on the Bus plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM, at the Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., No. Hollywood.  Tickets are available online at www.RoadTheatre.org, or by calling (818) 761-8838.

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