A Free Man of Color and The Coward Cannonball Into 18th-Century History

Two new plays from Lincoln Center Theater

Almost as big as the Louisiana Purchase itself: A Free Man of Color
T. Charles Erickson
Almost as big as the Louisiana Purchase itself: A Free Man of Color

Sam Gold's production struggles, unrewardingly, to steer a middle course between total seriousness and blatant SNL spoof; the largely excellent cast offers gratifying help, as do Gabriel Berry's lush costumes, elegantly toeing the fine line where just enough slides toward too much. Ability, ambition, and a passion to say something make Jones welcome. Whether less lavish treatment might have helped him, or Guare, sort out his intentions more lucidly is a different, perhaps more troubling, matter.

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