The Castillo Theatre presents a new drama which draws on folklore and the historical record to tell the bitter tale of America during the Reconstruction Era. More…
'Matata and Jesse James' juxtaposes two Missouri families - that of Matata, a former African American slave, with that of of Jesse James, known as a friend to the poor who'd fought for the Confederacy. Can these poor Americans find common ground in the Civil War’s aftermath? The color line runs deep through our country's history and culture.
"Friedman touches the raw nerve of race relations in American history which has not been fully resolved yet...The production is very handsome...Woods Jr. directed this production with obvious care for detail. He maintains pace and rhythm of the scenes and uses space quite ingeniously...Solid cast...Each maintains distinct a characterization and together they create a microcosm of the vast American social landscape during and post-Civil War that resonates still today." Full Review
See it if you are interested in historical dramas, especially the Reconstruction Era. You like plays that explore racial issues in this country.
Don't see it if you are looking for lighter fare or are deeply offended by a few n-words.
See it if You'd like a compelling tale set after the Civil War ended but the racial divide never did. In modern dress, this could be a 2018 story.
Don't see it if You can't face the fact that many of the problems of race, class, and poverty after the Civil War are still with us today.
See it if You want some interesting background on Matata, Jessie James and Billy the Kid. You want to see that some things are hard to change.
Don't see it if You are not interested in historical pieces. You are not interested in what was happening in American during the Reconstruction Era.
See it if you enjoy a fascinating drama about life after Reconstruction.era. Very powerful and original. Excellent acting and staging.
Don't see it if you not like dialogue about struggles between blacks and whites. Very frank words on both sides.
See it if You enjoy small intimate theatre productions and historical themed plays.
Don't see it if You want a romping musical and don't want to see a play about Jesse James and race relations in the Reconstruction era.
See it if you like a historical drama about an important subject and can tolerate some (not all) sub-par acting and somewhat sluggish directing.
Don't see it if you want things polished and perfect.
See it if You are interested in the experiences of different types of people in the Civil War era that molded them into who they are
Don't see it if Issues of race and class disturb you, no interest in history, need a large production
See it if you'd like to contemplate relationships of the Civil War era and juxtapose them to current times. Some standout acting.
Don't see it if you cannot appreciate the possible tug and pull of white-black relationships following the abolition of slavery and today's continuance.
See it if you have an interest in the civil war period of US history and if you are curious about Jesse James and his role as a Southern patriot.
Don't see it if you have no patience for slowly unfolding stories.
See it if you would like to know more about the infamous James brothers, train & bank robbers. There is aslo racism with Civil War overtures.
Don't see it if you expect a story that holds your attention and captivates your interest.
See it if you are interested in black-white relationships right after the Civil War and especially Jesse James' family conflicts.
Don't see it if you don't like history or dramatic plays.
See it if You enjoy mid-1800s period pieces that take place in rural America; also if you are a fan of the Jesse James lore.
Don't see it if You want to be provoked by deeper questions that stimulates further; the show is solid but fails to build on analysis of its strong themes.
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