"Master Harold" . . . and the Boys | TimeLine Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

"Master Harold" . . . and the Boys Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 21 2010

Athol Fugard's 1982 one-act is based on his own experience growing up white in South Africa at the start of apartheid. "Master Harold" is the 17-year-old son of a cafe owner, and the "boys," Sam and Willie, are the mature black servants of Harold's parents. In casual conversation one rainy afternoon, the three reflect on subjects ranging from Harold's happy boyhood memories to the need for social reform to the art of ballroom dancing (Fugard's symbol for "a world without collisions"). Underneath the friendly banter, though, the poisonous reality of racism and political inequality simmers, ready to explode. Director Jonathan Wilson's fine cast--Alfred H. Wilson as Sam, Daniel Bryant as Willie, and Loyola University senior Nate Burger as Harold--skillfully handle Fugard's dialogue, which seems to ramble but in fact brilliantly keeps the tension rising, ebbing, and rising again. --Albert Williams

Price: $25-$35


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