Terrell Donnell Sledge in "The Wind and the Breeze." Photo by Karli Cadel Photography
From the top of a bridge in Rockford, Ill., onetime legendary hip-hop emcee Sam (aka Sam I Am) awaits Fourth of July fireworks -- months in advance of the big night. What the veteran rapper, disdainful of his past and resigned to the lack of a future, is really doing in Nathan Alan Davis’ The Wind and the Breeze is surveying the landscape that is his life, Meanwhile, a circle of young dreamers hungers for his support as they pursue their own musical destinies.
Directed at Cygnet Theatre by Rob Lutfy, The Wind and the Breeze is a promising new work from Davis, one rich with personal circumspection and enlivened by the rapping of Terrell Donnell Sledge as Sam and Demetrius Clayton as would-be protégé Shantell. Monique Gaffney, meanwhile, adds both edge and sensitivity as Sam’s knowing cop friend Ronda. To some degree, the play strains to demonstrate its gravity, and fireworks make for an easy metaphor. But The Wind and the Breeze has much worthwhile to say about fate, friendship and the search for the right place to touch down. (Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 11/23/18.)
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David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.