IAMA Theatre Company presents the virtual premiere of THE LATRELL SHOW, a solo production which segues artfully from Black Lives Matter demonstrations of the past year. Written and performed by actor/writer/social justice advocate Brandon Kyle Goodman, THE LATRELL SHOW carefully and creatively dissects the inner thoughts and feelings of Latrell Jackson, an opinionated black man who hosts a talk show focused on his favorite hot topics – a man who is not afraid to “let it all hang out.”
Not only is Latrell African American – but he is also gay. To quote author Goodman,
“Latrell is a character I’ve played for the past ten years in comedy shows and as a sort of cabaret act. It feels like all those performances have culminated into the creation of the solo show. I want black queer folx to watch this show and feel seen and validated. I want white and non-black folx to get an uncensored look inside the mind of a black queer person, and I want to make them feel our experiences.”
Goodman is a vocal non-binary queer black leader and relentless advocate for black lives. He first launched his message throughout the summer of 2020 with informative Instagram videos about racism in America, videos which rapidly went viral and cemented his position as spokesperson for marginalized groups who demanded to be heard.
A native New Yorker, Goodman completed his B.F.A. at NYU, where he met Devere Rogers, a classmate who became a close friend and is currently co-director for the production. As Rogers sees it, “The play presents as one thing, but quickly becomes another…Latrell is a riotous character – but just as the audience starts to feel comfortable and safe with the outrageous comedy…wham…Brandon hits them with the real message.”
THE LATRELL SHOW is tailor made for its target audience, African Americans, people of color, LGBTQ members, and activists of all stripes. As the play progresses, Latrell’s rants morph into a manifesto for acceptance for everyone. From the bejeweled, sparkling Latrell, Goodman transitions into the introspective conservative man who has suffered in silence for too long. The performance ends in a scream, but a scream which is inaudible. Goodman seems to be broadcasting a change which is stampeding across America – a metamorphosis whereby headlines need to create a tsunami of public awareness.
Directors Black and Rogers skillfully helm Latrell through his emotional trauma and help the audience gain insight into his laughter and tears. This is aided in no small measure by the multiple photos posted at the end of the show, each with the name and age of yet one more victim of racial prejudice. Goodman does an excellent job of showing the gradual awakening of Latrell from his manicky outbursts to his quiet introspection – a seesaw that never ends. Kudos were also earned by Song Yi Park for her superb eye-grabbing wardrobe and to Alyna Ajere for hair and makeup. Marc Antonio Pritchett’s sound, Josh Epstein’s lighting, and Frankie Bruny’s graphics add an important dimension to the happenings onstage. THE LATRELL SHOW was filmed live at the Pico Theater in West Los Angeles on May 2, 2021.
THE LATRELL SHOW streams on demand from May 23 through June 20, 2021. Ticket are $15 per household. For information and reservations, go online.