If you see one play this season, make it “Kings” and you’ll see the grime and beauty of your soul on stage. Playwright Anna Governali has turned theater into an emotional brawl in which a teenager fights for his freedom armed with the graffiti he tags in each of the five boroughs.
Setting out to become King, the highest title a graffiti artist can receive, Israel “Izzy” Flores refuses to let go of his past to the point that he suffocates the hopes and dreams most teenagers have for their future. Izzy is in a constant battle: with the drug addiction that steals his father’s attention, the neighborhood kids who challenge him to strive for more or give up altogether, and the authority figures who remind him what he’s lost in life. Motherless, he searches for the woman he never knew but can’t stop thinking about.
“Kings” had a limited run in March, with two shows left this weekend, April 5th and 6th, at The Nuyorican Poet’s Café. Anna Governali wrote and directed the play inspired by her born-and-bred New York street smarts. At times, the hopelessness is frightening, but with her creative insight, Governali helps us see the rainbow even when there is no sun.
The cast draws from a deep sense of honesty to bring to life the real stories of New York. These are faces you’ll see for the first time now, and again and again throughout their long careers on stage and screen. Victory Chappotin, who studied theater at The City College of New York, plays the lead role of Izzy and catapults the action forward. Chappotin, as Izzy, is a man of heart and heat, at one moment hiding behind laughter, and in the next moment pleading for love with tears.
Most of the time, Izzy is a naive fifteen-year-old who preaches his ignorance to everyone around him, but he’s also a reflection of each of us in our moments of self-crisis and longing. He’s the good guy an inch away from falling into the darkness.
Ian Paolo (from CBS’ Blue Bloods) plays Izzy’s father in a single scene that forces us to understand the grit and Godliness in our humanity. The other cast members follow suit, reminding us that live theater can be personal and life-changing.
The Nuyorican Poet’s Café is proud to present “Kings”, located at 236 E. 3rd between Avenue B & C, New York, NY 10009. April 5-6 at 7:00pm. Tickets: Advance: $22. Door: $25. Students: $18. Discounts/Promotions: $20. Five percent of all ticket sales will be donated to The Robin Hood Foundation.
For more information, please visit: www.nuyorican.org or call (212) 780-9386.
Cast: Victory Chappotin, Matthew Makin, Ian Paola, Nate Jones, Jonathan Duran, Amethyst Hertsens, Josh Rosario, Soliedy Mendez, Cody Parham & Ivan Goris.
Director/Designers: Anna Governali (Director); Justin Johnson (Stage Manager);
Denisse Ovalle (Assistant Stage Manager); Brandon Hardy (Set Design); Hope Governali (Costume Designer/Stylist); Carol Ma (Violinist) & Meraly Lopez (Hair/Makeup Artist).