Omoze Idehenre and Jonathan Walker in "What You Are." Photo by Jim Cox
JC Lee’s What You Are was developed last year in the Old Globe Theatre’s Powers New Voices festival and is now getting its world premiere as a full-blown production. Entwined in sociopolitical discourse, this high-anxiety play revolves around Don (Jonathan Walker), an angry, late-middle-age white guy who feels disenfranchised, put upon, picked on and victimized by just about everybody That includes the young employer (Adrian Anchondo) who, loathsome as he is, is justified in firing him. When not clinging to the vitriol of right-wing radio, Don is trying to justify himself to his very decent African-American wife (Omoze Idehenre) and his smart but lecturing daughter (Jasmin Savory Brown)
After much initial polemical exchange, the one-act What You Are directed by Patricia McGregor turns more inward and ominous, with Don’s self-destructive insecurity and paranoia at the fore. This fuels the Globe’s theater-in-the round with a palpable and most effective sense of dread about what may come.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 6/12/19.)
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat