November 12, 2012


A Confrontation takes place. Courtesy Photo Lois Tema


By Lee Hartgrave 

Jeff Talbot has come up with a hot button Drama (directed by Ben Randle) at the New Conservatory Theatre.

This pulse pounding play brings out thrilling storytelling, and bravura performances. The story is all about backstage hi-jinks on the Broadway stage. Danny (Eric Kerr) has just finished a play. He is overwhelmed by his play. Will it work? He’s a flighty gay playwright. Why is he so tense? Well, here is the reason. He wrote the play using a female as the author of his play. Danny submits his play, using the pen name of Sheleeha G’ntamobi. Yes it’s catchy, but not easy to say. Sheleeha is African American and Danny is a neurotic young playwright. Everything seems to be working between the two, until the female begins to make changes to the script without Danny’s permission. He says: “F—ck it – she starts to reuse the words in the play!”

Here’s the deal. This play within a play is very explosive. More than explosive – it’s leading the play to the edge of the cliff. There is a lot going on between Danny and his boyfriend and Emilie as they sort out themes of racism and identity. Then, there is the friend (Chris) who likes Danny, but is more interested in the black actress. He agrees to not agree about many issues in the play, and off the stage.

This play is profoundly intense – and erotic. I didn’t just sit through this show – I was on the edge of the seat. There is no doubt about it – “The Submission” (the play) is spectacularly compelling and smart.

My only letdown is at the very end. After all the energy in the play – it deflates in the final scene. I think it needs a stronger ending. But I still recommend this play. The Actors are great! They take us on a fascinating journey. Here they are:  Sam Jackson (Emilie), Eric Kerr (Danny), Alex Kirschner (Pete) and Chris Morrell (Trevor).



RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-

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