Golden Globe & Emmy Award nominee Kerry Washington and Drama Desk nominee Steven Pasquale return to the Great White Way to star in the Broadway premiere of American Son, written by Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. The cast also features Broadway, "Smash" and "Supergirl" favorite Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee.
Over the course of 90 minutes, American Son offers a hard-hitting, gritty and realistic portrait of two parents in crisis. Set entirely in the confines of a police station in Miami, Florida, during the middle of the night, we encounter a desperate mother, Kendra (masterfully portrayed by Kerry Washington) and her estranged husband, Scott (a commanding Steven Pasquale) as they fight and claw for any information on the whereabouts of their missing teenage son. As the rain pours outside the windows, emotions pour out by the bucketload indoors as tempers flare and deep wounds are ripped open. Kendra rages on the spectrum between vulnerability and relentless determination, as playwright Christopher Demos-Brown explores notions of racial identity and racial injustice through the interactions of each of the four characters in the piece.
Under the direction of Kenny Leon, the pace of this harrowing story gathers momentum as it hurtles towards its inevitable conclusion, by which time we have evolved from flies on the wall to something akin to a family member, experiencing the torturous impact of the events first-hand.
American Son is as timely and as topical as they come, seemingly ripped from the all too frequent headlines of the national media. As cases of police brutality and racial division continue to run rampant through a divided United States and campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter grow from strength to strength, this play enables Broadway to join in the debate and provide a microcosm to explore the wider issues, possible causes and devastating consequences that surround it.
(Photos by Peter Cunningham)