Honky by Greg Kalleres
Left Edge Theatre
Running in Santa Rosa through July 1, 2018

Trey G. Riley and Mike Pavone. Photo: Katie Kelley.

Left Edge Theatre has a bold mission: to produce only plays that haven’t already been done in Sonoma County, and that have been written within the previous five or six years. This means you’re likely to see plays with especially timely themes and topics, as well as challenging structures. Their current production, of Honky by Greg Kalleres, definitely fills the bill, as a challenging and humorous satire exposing issues of racism. A talented cast and attractive production deliver a strong production worth seeing.

No one is immune from scrutiny in this fast-paced comedy—both white and black characters struggle with self-awareness and identity questions. When a black teenager is killed over his upscale, coveted sneakers, the shoe designer feels responsible, the ad man feels guilt, and the marketing mogul sees opportunity. Toss in a well-intentioned therapist, a status-seeking fiancee, a couple of “urban youth” types, and PC-conscious upper management, and complications abound. Civility and polite society crumble when confronted with the magnifying glass of racism.

A further complication involves a new drug that promises a cure for your racism—pop the pill and you no longer “see color.” Wishful thinking? Or generating more ills than it cures? The final scene leaves us pondering some hard questions, even while we’re laughing. …

To continue reading about this production, see the review on Talkin’Broadway: