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Curtain Call: 'Eclipsed' Starring Lupita Nyong'o

When we first met Lupita Nyong'o, she made her debut onto the fashion stage in a red Ralph Lauren cape-dress, becoming an instant Hollywood style star. Fast forward to present day, and Nyong'o has traded in Ralph for aRugratst-shirt as she makes another debut, this time of the New York stage variety, inEclipsedat The Public Theater.

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This is not a glitzy, glamorous turn. Like her Oscar-winning role in12 Years a Slave, the part of The Girl played by Nyong'o inEclipsedis equal parts harrowing and heartbreaking. Nyong'o plays one of four wives of a commanding officer in the Second Liberian Civil War, which led to the liberation of women at its end in 2003. In short, the plot deals with the life choices these women are forced to make, having left their families behind in search of a way out of the turmoil. Thankfully, thePlaybillfeatures a "Cliffs Notes" timeline of the conflict. It's hard to imagine, however, that such a horrendous period in Africa's history could be trimmed into two small pages of writing—and further, into a theatrical production.

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Joan Marcus

But it's done masterfully by writer Danai Gurira, director Leisl Tommy and just four other actors. Three concrete slabs smattered with bullet holes comprise the sparse set and serve as the wives' dwelling, which is peppered with reminders of a life they no longer have: the discovery of a biography of President Bill Clinton brings relief; wife Number Two (Zainab Jah), having joined the fight as a guerrilla warrior, wears a fake Chanel t-shirt on a rogue visit to her sisters; a picture of Janet Jackson is pasted on the wall above wife Number Three's (Pascale Armand) bed. The Girl, who is the youngest and most impressionable of the group, is persuaded by Number Two to join the fighting front, while wives Number Three and One (Saycon Sengbloh) are visited by Rita (Akosua Busia), a member of the women's peace initiative.

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Essentially, that is the story—but of course, so much more unfolds.Eclipsedpaints an emotionally-charged illustration of a war ended through the fighting power of women. By its conclusion, the narrative becomes less a tale of survival and more a comment on reactions during immense adversity: do you allow your current struggles to define you andeclipsethe identity of who (and whose) you are...or do you fight?

Eclipsed is at The Public Theater through November 29.

Update, 10/20:The Public Theater is pleased to announce thatEclipsedwill transfer to Broadway in the spring following a sold-out run at The Public Theater, which extended twice and will end its run on Sunday, November 29. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o will reprise her role on Broadway for this strictly limited engagement.






Video: Broadway: The Color Purple & Eclipsed @ The Golden Theatre

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Date: 07.12.2018, 23:23 / Views: 91572