B8 found their new downtown Concord theater space at the former My Sushi Restaurant location in the El Monte shopping center on Clayton Road. Their innovative first show there runs through March 1.
The plot goes like this: Week after week, wealthy white businessman Ray (a mesmerizing Stephen Rexrode) rides the same bus each day and befriends black single mom, Shatique (Diana Lauren Jones).
As they get to know each other, their pasts are revealed and tensions escalate, which ignites a disturbing exploration of race. It may make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s the playwright’s intention to dramatize a crucial time in race relations in America.
Rexrode’s acting in the role of Ray is strong. He finds many levels to this character with the direction of Minton.
The cast also features Julian Christopher Geritz and Julianna Romualdi as Ray’s son Christopher and Christopher’s wife Molly, a young couple with many plans for the future.
Maureen-Theresa Williams is wonderful in her role as Rexrode’s wife Roz. She is both snide and gentle. It is clear they have been together for a long time and their strong chemistry shines.
Kathryn G. McCarty is well-known around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.