Review On Native Son


Tin Pan L.A.

Registered Critic


In high school Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son was required reading, the book about a young African American man living in poverty in 1930s Chicago who kills, rapes, and then is sentenced to death. Everything that happens in this book is heavy and dark, truth be told I wasn't entirely sure what to make of this disquieting tale back then. Now years later this book takes stage at Antaeus Theatre Company in Nambi E. Kelley's 2014 adaption, and even now this stage version still conjures up these same unsettling emotions but now with resounding clarity because the unfortunately many of the scenarios from this story resemble issues that riddle our society even today.

Ryan Luévano is a professional music director, composer, musicologist and music educator. Ryan is an experienced music director and conductor for musical theater, opera, film and concert music. Past productions include: Experience Magic!, Annie, The Sound of Music, Into the Woods, Chess, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, and Funny Girl. Additionally, he works as a professor of music at Woodbury University and Santa Ana College. When he’s not producing shows he pens as a theater critic for his blog Tin Pan L.A. where you can read all about the L.A. theater scene.