Spike Lee told the Voice
in late February of this year. He was referring to an uncomfortable incongruity at the 2016 Academy Awards: While the televised ceremony featured presenting appearances from high-profile black stars like Kerry Washington and Kevin Hart, not a single one of the twenty acting nominations belonged to a person of color. Such facts were rightly (and roundly) eviscerated in Chris Rock's opening monologue at the Oscars; now the comedy duo Marina & Nicco
are taking their own angry stab at the topic. Their new play, Room 4
, which the pair have been workshopping for months while in residency at the Peoples Improv Theater, centers on four black actors who find themselves auditioning, over and over again, for a minor role called "Drug Dealer #2." A release name-checks some timeless titles with nightmarishly circular plots of their own — Groundhog Day
, Waiting for Godot
— but the urgency of Marina & Nicco's subject makes this play a satire fit for the present moment.
"You could say that we're the waiters at the table,"