Writing this review has been one of the hardest things I have had to do. Not because the show, but because what it stands for and how relevant it is today. With that being said excuse me if this review is a little scattered.
Party People takes place now. We follow the Journey of Malik and Jimmy, two millennial’s who are putting on a show to celebrate the party. (The party meaning Black panthers and Young Lords) The opening scene we see Malik (Christopher Livingston) practicing a monologue expressing his anger of never being good enough to be a Black Panther like his father. Enter his right hand man Jimmy (William Ruiz) who has an alter ego Primo but we will get to that later. Jimmy gives Malik a pep talk on how they are prepared for this show and just like that we find ourselves back in the 60’s in the middle of the civil rights movements.
We see Black Panthers and Young Lords fighting together using slam poetry, jazz, hip hop to have their voices heard. It took everything in me to not chant with them. IT AINT JUST! Throughout these flash backs we come to see each revolutionary and all the struggles they went through with the corrupt world we live in and with each other in the party. By intermission we come back to the present and we see the revolutionaries enter the show, which is all about them. They make small talk, until deep secrets rise.
Act two we learn about spies and betrayal in the party, but we mostly focus on our new generation. How are we fighting for what is just! Do we just hide behind a hashtag and a keyboard? The party calls us weak, lazy, because we use a Facebook status to voice our opinion. What will we DO! How will we make Black lives matter? “They don’t want us truly free, that’s how a man like Donald Trump is elected president”.
Party People is the most honest, truthful, realistic show in New York right now. The cast is filled with an amazing talented ensemble. And is truly an ensemble piece. The use of multi media is used to perfection and helps show the difference between generations and how we are all evolving.
Leaving the show I was emotionally drained. Walking down the stairs at the Public I heard some people say, “it was good, but really long”. I don’t know why but that stuck with me. It was long, yes, but it was necessary. Just like how these next four years will be long. Just like how we are still fighting for people to be equal. When will it end? IT AINT JUST!
All my babbling aside, I encourage every human to see this show. It is so powerful, inspiring, and important! I promise you will leave the theatre fired up and ready to make a change, and not hide behind a hash tag.
Review By: Briana Burnside
Photos By: Sara Krulwich