How was your experience?
The subject is the true story of nine black young men accused of raping two white women while riding a box car in the early 30s. They are convicted and sentenced to death, but rescued from the gallows by a landmark Supreme Court opinion. But there is no happy ending, as they are convicted again and spend long years in prison and never get vindication. It's an odd subject to write a musical about. The story is told vaudeville-style by a troupe of actors, almost all of whom are black and they play all of the roles, in including those of the white women, the southern sheriff, the Jewish NY lawyer, etc. The show has plenty of imagination, but the conceit doesn't quite come off. The songs are not memorable and the choreography, while professional, is not particularly fresh or imaginative. Some of it is reminiscent of Zorba--one of Kander and Ebb's previous musicals with which I'm familiar. And, given the sadness of the story, it's hard to leave the theater feeling good.