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Charly Evon Simpson

Entangled

May 1, 2019

Culturally relevant, emotionally resonant but languidly conceived, "Entangled" dramatizes the issue of gun violence in the contemporary United States. Playwrights Gabriel Jason Dean and Charly Evon Simpson’s structure is that of alternating monologues for its two characters. The play’s chief flaw is their overly literate dialogue that would be suitable for a graduate writing seminar or one of Edward Albee’s more rococo works.  “Inside, the funeral home smells like potpourri and middle-class despair.” [more]

Behind the Sheet

January 22, 2019

Obviously, this is a play for which any sort of a happy ending will be deeply compromised, but what Simpson does so beautifully is show us how these women overcome their suspicions and envy to find support in one another. It’s tempting for playwrights to work toward such an end by wallowing in sentimentality. However, it never seems that Simpson, Robert or the talented women portraying these characters are pulling frantically at our heartstrings. The plot unfolds simply and satisfyingly, with the characters’ behavior always plausible and unforced. Surprising moments of humor serve as grace notes to an otherwise somber story. [more]