Venue Details

54 Star Starred
Fremont Centre Theatre
1000 Fremont Avenue South Pasadena, CA 91030
626-441-5977
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Reviews & Ratings

"Topdog/Underdog"
7 ratings
3.9 average rating
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174 events
87 reviews
27 stars
attended Sep 11 2010

I did not like the production and am not even sure why it won a Pulitzer. One of the performances was terrible and the other was only slightly better. Sorry.

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46 events
34 reviews
0 stars
attended Aug 27 2010

the story was intriguing, suspenseful, and comical. acting was great. theater was quaint, clean, and in a lovely area of pasadena. overall, definitely worth the ticket price and the trip.

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75 events
32 reviews
2 stars
attended Feb 26 2011

The actor playing Booth did a fine job. I gave three stars because I thought that the play was predictable. I don't want to give anything away, but if you don't notice the ending being telegraphed a dozen times during the play you are just not...continued

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Quotes & Highlights

“This production is a powerful, hard-hitting production that shows why sometimes a smaller venue is better.”  —Examiner.com
“Suzan-Lori Parks created a prize-winning play, so you know going in that the writing, the premise and the plot will be top notch. When you leave the theatre you know one more thing. You know that the Fremont Centre Theatre has created one of the most sensitive and excellent performances of this play, and it’s one that should be rated a “must see” by any discerning patrons of the theatre. "  —ReviewPlays.com
Voted a Prime Pick by _Pasadena Weekly _

Description

_Topdog/Underdog _centers on two African-American brothers named Lincoln and Booth (their dad’s idea of a joke). Abandoned by their parents to fend for themselves while still juveniles at the respective ages of 16 and 11, the brothers are now in their 30s.

They live marginal lives, sharing a rented room in a low-rent district. Their relationships with women have been spotty at best. Booth, the younger, wants to be a master at the con game of three-card monte, which dupes the mark, or sucker, through misdirection. Lincoln has been a past master at three-card monte, but has set the game aside to pursue a legitimate employment: portraying the 16th president in whiteface at an especially tasteless amusement arcade attraction, in which Abraham Lincoln is repeatedly assassinated over the course of a day.

One day, the circumstances of Lincoln’s employment change, drawing him back into the underworld of three-card monte, where he is still a master and ready to make more big scores. The festering sibling rivalry between the two men now threatens to develop into a dangerous, explosive boil.

Topdog/Underdog mixes humor, anger, suspense and drama in a play which comments on human relationships, the dynamics of family, race relations and American history.

The play won its playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize in 2002. Her other works include The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, The America Play, Venus, In The Blood, and 365 Days/365 Plays.

Topdog/Underdog is directed by James Reynolds and stars Jed Reynolds as Lincoln and Stephen Rider as Booth. Jed Reynolds appeared previously at Fremont Centre Theatre as Jackie Robinson in National Pastime and as the young romantic lead in Ravensridge. He has also toured with the Native Voices Theater Company and appeared locally with the Parson’s Nose company, and appeared often on Days Of Our Lives.

Stephen Rider received an MFA from UCLA. He appeared in the film The Great Debaters, which was directed by Denzel Washington.

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