Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things to Do: Thurgood ft. Laurence Fishburne

Last week, I was presented with an opportunity to see a play called "Thurgood" written by George Stevens, Jr. and starring the famed actor Laurence Fishburne at The Kennedy Center.  I'm a huge fan of the arts and pride myself on knowing all about the latest plays and musical performances, both locally and on Broadway. 

Surprisingly, I had not heard anything about this play, a one-man show about the life of late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, until I was offered the tickets. (After doing some research I found out the show first premiered on Broadway in April 2008)

When I entered the theater, the first thing I noticed was the show had to be sold out and how diverse the audience was, one of the reasons why I love DC.  Laurence Fishburne walked onto the stage looking very much like the Thurgood Marshall I remember seeing in history books growing up.  He began to tell the story of how Thurgood ('Thorogood' as his name was actually spelled upon his birth) Marshall became the man he was destined to become. 

Prior to seeing this performance, I admit the only thing I really knew about Thurgood Marshall was he was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of The United States of America.  Laurence Fishburne vividly reenacted his life, including showing us a different side of Mr. Marshall, as a man with a sharp tongue and a serious sense of humor.  A large amount of time was spent on him telling of his many accomplishments including being the defense attorney in the legendary Brown v. Board of Education case, which eventually lead to desegregation of public schools. 

This one-man show had me enthralled in every word from start to finish.  I'm not usually one whose attention span can handle a 90+ minute monologue (with no intermission) but he captivated me along with the rest of his audience by enabling us to envision each and every story.  His voice was booming, the story telling was vibrant and at the end I felt like I had actually learned something new.  It's not often I see something and feel like I really got much out of it, that was a pleasant surprise.

"Thurgood" starring Laurence Fishburne will be at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts until June 20.  I'd highly recommend it.  For more information, visit or call 202-467-4600.

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