Writer: Timothy DuWhite
Director: Zhailon Levingston
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Dixon Place is hosting the twenty-seventh year of its Hot! Festival, a celebration of queer culture. Among the repertoire of performances is Timothy DuWhite’s exquisite one-man show, Neptune. Written and performed by DuWhite, the show is just over ninety minutes of poetry in motion. It is a love story, political piece, tale of family, social commentary, laugh riot, and tearjerker. It is direct without beleaguering any points. It is poetic without losing focus in flourish.
Taking the audience on the journey of an HIV-positive gay Black man — from talks with his father to being arrested on bogus charges and threatened by the cops, to an uberPOOL encounter that turns flirty and then thoughtful and then harrowing — DuWhite weaves an intricate, self-referential tale with surprises and joy. He embodies several characters with whom his central character, Wayne, interacts. Physicality and vocal energy are specific to each character, easily guiding the audience to know when Wayne is speaking as opposed to one of his counterparts. Zhailon Levingston’s direction keeps the play moving at a pace that drives the stakes and comes to sudden, halting stops that pack powerful, well-earned punches at just the right moments.
DuWhite excels in making a very specific experience read to a diverse audience comprising those who may identify deeply with the character of Wayne, those who may have flashes of shared experience, and those whose lives are vastly different than the one depicted on the stage. This play resonates on a beautifully harmonious frequency and creates a true sense of community between performer and audience (and not only in the fourth-wall-breaking moments, of which there are a few). The immediacy and urgency of the text and its performance are breathtaking. Neptune is absolutely not to be missed.
Runs until 28 July 2018 | Image: Mark Hayes