SMALL THEATER COMPANY Denver 2006 - Topdog/Underdog Shadow Theatre Company
Artistic director Jeffrey Nickelson scored a coup in acquiring Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks's script for production, and he and director Hugo Sayles did the play proud. Nickelson and Damion Hoover played a pair of inner-city brothers named Lincoln and Booth. Both gamesters, they spent their time together sparring, telling tall tales and attempting to trick each other. At first lighthearted, even affectionate, their cons eventually turned violent. Hoover and Nickelson were brilliant, both separately and together: Hoover celebrating a shoplifting spree with a humorous striptease in which he divested himself of the loot, item by item; Nickelson demonstrating the intricacies of three-card monte; both of them bringing this fast-talking, bitter, sad, funny script to life.