Review: ‘Let the Devil Take the Hindmost’ at the FringeNYC
By James Mattick, Contributing Writer, August 17, 2016
Playwright Maya Contreas brings an exciting and topical production to this year’s FringeNYC. Set in the politically charged late 1960s, Let the Devil Take the Hindmost shines a fresh light on the complexities of racial privilege, as the play focuses on a mutli-ethnic family that is seemingly on the verge of falling apart.
Without giving too much away here are three reasons why you should check out Let the Devil Take the Hindmost before the end of its run at the fringe.
Vera and Pablo
The story focuses on the fraught marriage of Pablo (Felipe Gorostiza), a college professor, and his high school math teacher wife Vera (Thursday Farrar). The complex and bitter relationship the two share is an interesting spectacle to watch as it unfolds. Gorostiza manages to portray a character who although calm in manner is disillusioned by his wife’s bitterness and despair. Farrar plays a prideful, bitter, and distraught woman, who is difficult to like, however her plight is understandable given the context of the play and the injustices she feels. The onstage chemistry between the two is magic.
Silent Comic Relief
Although the play is a fairly dark affair, comic relief comes in the form of the character Michael played by the superb Bobby Crace. Michael is Pauline’s beard-sporting hippie boyfriend who has taken a vow of silence that he will only break when the Vietnam War has ended. As hilarious as he is hairy (very), what is also interesting is that as a byproduct of this vow-of-silence Harvard Law educated Michael is literally denied a voice in a play that centers around racial privilege.
This play is more nuanced than a simple focus on racial tensions. Covering topics such as interracial relationships and privilege amongst minorities themselves, the outcome is a thoughtful and fresh production.
Make sure you catch one of the last few performances of Let the Devil Take the Hindmost. You can buy your tickets here.