Kambon (Oba) Obayani has some interesting ideas and insights into the rationalizations and accommodations that members of the male species go through to justify their manhood and place in society. Unfortunately, his ideas are not well served by these three amateurishly staged one-act plays.
The short opening monologue, “I Am,” is a strident diatribe by middle-aged Latino businessman Quintero (Jerry Hyde). Quintero vehemently chronicles the wrongs he’s suffered. But the text never develops beyond a series of expository statements, performed with a marked lack of subtlety and dynamics.
By far the most successful of the three plays is “Just Us,” a prison cell confrontation between a long-term older con (Zeb Sanders III) and recently incarcerated youthful gangbanger Lefty (Goldie Williams).
Despite the improbable scenario that two murderers would immediately launch into cathartic self-revelations, the playwright has created an intriguing tale of the moral chasm that separates the older man, who has learned to mourn his victim, and the younger man, who can’t. Much of piece’s success is due to Sanders’ eerie combination of sadness and danger as the lifer, and Williams’ subtle exhibition of the fear and frailty beneath Lefty’s strutting facade.
The final piece, “Hats,” while containing insights into the relationships of a mother to her sons, is ill-conceived. Obayani — who doesn’t possess the perf skills to pull it off — plays all the roles by changing hats, presenting three adult brothers and their father, who meet on the day of their mother’s funeral.