Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson

Critics

LemonMeter

95 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson unfolds the African American legacy in the first chronological episode of his celebrated American Century Cycle—a soaring, mystical tale of a man desperate for redemption in 1904 Pittsburgh. Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old “soul cleanser,” sends him on a spiritual journey that dissects the nature of freedom amidst oppression and spurs him to take up the mantle of justice.

Reviews

Avatar

This production is not just part of Wilson's larger canon, it's also the latest chapter in a remarkable series of productions from director Greg T. Daniel that, like Wilson, have been chronicling the African American experience one play at a time...

Go see this play. Set against this journey - driving to Pasadena is easy.

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Gregg T. Daniel executes Wilson’s powerful story of perseverance in strength and character. Each character individually represents where they stand pre and post slavery. Citizen Barlow and Black Mary are the new generation seeking a better way of life that includes happiness and being safe. Caesar is the new breed of African American men who have gone through hell and came out the other side receiving freedom but still a slave in his mentality. Solly Two Kings and Aunt Ester are the overseers keeping an eye on the other souls around them who need saving. Ester and Solly are powerful enough to do it. An amazing and mesmerizing show that will stay in the soul long after the curtain comes down.

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean is chock full of old-world charm and potent storytelling—once it begins you can’t help but bask in its nostalgic beauty. Now Playing at A Noise Within Theatre until November 16th!

sweet - Ryan Luévano - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

...in Gem, by contrast, Wilson makes otherworldly forces central to the narrative, furnishing a canvas for the characters’ struggle for self-realization and redemption. That makes staging it an especial challenge—one splendidly met at A Noise Within, where director Gregg T. Daniel and a sterling ensemble have forged an illuminating production.

sweet - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Written late in the cycle but set during the first decade of the 20th century, “Gem of the Ocean” stunningly weaves together mankind’s brutality and mankind’s hope, theatrical mysticism and theatrical realism, soaring language and earthy language.

It is also, at its core, about truth-telling — by the playwright, among the characters and to ourselves.

“Gem of the Ocean” is in production at A Noise Within, where director Gregg T. Daniel gives us an unvarnished and yet otherworldly view of life for the men and women who once were slaves and are here living in a freedom that may be nominal only.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Gem is ANW’s first foray into August Wilson territory, a fact that makes the production’s strength all the more laudable. This company, its California roots on full display, continues to reveal itself as a powerful player on the local scene with achievements that are growing to be anything but parochial.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

If you’ve only read of Wilson but haven’t experienced much of his work live, this is a chance not to be missed. Multi-layered characters of different generations are treat enough alone...

A Noise Within hopes to bring Wilson’s entire cycle of ten ‘Century’ plays to life; don’t be the person who misses the first one. Your inner storytelling soul will be sorry.

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

In a staging that is alternately leisurely, suspenseful, funny and poignant, Daniel doesn’t miss a beat of the possibilities in Wilson’s text. The production is is clarifying, terrifying and cathartic.

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Gem Of The Ocean has been assembled with such loving, respectful care that I wish I could give it unqualified praise. At the very least, it sheds informative light on African-American life half-a-century before Rosa Parks said “No” to giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.

sweet-sour - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

GEM OF THE OCEAN combines spiritual and supernatural elements with historical events, allowing you to picture both the reality of the African American community in the early 1900s, as well as the beliefs and the cultures that strengthened them. And it tells you the story with the right amounts of humor and intensity needed to keep you enthralled throughout.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Avatar

This production is not just part of Wilson's larger canon, it's also the latest chapter in a remarkable series of productions from director Greg T. Daniel that, like Wilson, have been chronicling the African American experience one play at a time...

Go see this play. Set against this journey - driving to Pasadena is easy.

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Gregg T. Daniel executes Wilson’s powerful story of perseverance in strength and character. Each character individually represents where they stand pre and post slavery. Citizen Barlow and Black Mary are the new generation seeking a better way of life that includes happiness and being safe. Caesar is the new breed of African American men who have gone through hell and came out the other side receiving freedom but still a slave in his mentality. Solly Two Kings and Aunt Ester are the overseers keeping an eye on the other souls around them who need saving. Ester and Solly are powerful enough to do it. An amazing and mesmerizing show that will stay in the soul long after the curtain comes down.

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean is chock full of old-world charm and potent storytelling—once it begins you can’t help but bask in its nostalgic beauty. Now Playing at A Noise Within Theatre until November 16th!

sweet - Ryan Luévano - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

...in Gem, by contrast, Wilson makes otherworldly forces central to the narrative, furnishing a canvas for the characters’ struggle for self-realization and redemption. That makes staging it an especial challenge—one splendidly met at A Noise Within, where director Gregg T. Daniel and a sterling ensemble have forged an illuminating production.

sweet - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Written late in the cycle but set during the first decade of the 20th century, “Gem of the Ocean” stunningly weaves together mankind’s brutality and mankind’s hope, theatrical mysticism and theatrical realism, soaring language and earthy language.

It is also, at its core, about truth-telling — by the playwright, among the characters and to ourselves.

“Gem of the Ocean” is in production at A Noise Within, where director Gregg T. Daniel gives us an unvarnished and yet otherworldly view of life for the men and women who once were slaves and are here living in a freedom that may be nominal only.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Gem is ANW’s first foray into August Wilson territory, a fact that makes the production’s strength all the more laudable. This company, its California roots on full display, continues to reveal itself as a powerful player on the local scene with achievements that are growing to be anything but parochial.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar

If you’ve only read of Wilson but haven’t experienced much of his work live, this is a chance not to be missed. Multi-layered characters of different generations are treat enough alone...

A Noise Within hopes to bring Wilson’s entire cycle of ten ‘Century’ plays to life; don’t be the person who misses the first one. Your inner storytelling soul will be sorry.

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

In a staging that is alternately leisurely, suspenseful, funny and poignant, Daniel doesn’t miss a beat of the possibilities in Wilson’s text. The production is is clarifying, terrifying and cathartic.

sweet - F. Kathleen Foley - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Gem Of The Ocean has been assembled with such loving, respectful care that I wish I could give it unqualified praise. At the very least, it sheds informative light on African-American life half-a-century before Rosa Parks said “No” to giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.

sweet-sour - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

GEM OF THE OCEAN combines spiritual and supernatural elements with historical events, allowing you to picture both the reality of the African American community in the early 1900s, as well as the beliefs and the cultures that strengthened them. And it tells you the story with the right amounts of humor and intensity needed to keep you enthralled throughout.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review