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Review: "The Power of the Trinity" in Central Park

by Photo of Emily Smibert

“The Power of the Trinity” took the stage in Central Park last night as part of SummerStage 2012

Central Park welcomed the Tomás Doncker Band alongside a cast of talented actors and dancers who shared The Power of the Trinity with us on the City Parks Foundation's SummerStage last night. 

If you haven't had a chance to read up on the production, The Power of the Trinity tells the story of the Ethiopian King, Haile Selassie, and his fight for his country's independence and autonomy in a world of Italian colonization through story-telling, dance, and music. 

From the moment I first arrived at the venue, I knew I was in for a great night. I was greeted with music on the speakers-- clearly setting the tone for the evening-- and an audience which was as easily diverse as they were energetic. Families, middle-aged couples, younger folks, and elderly patrons were all packing into Rumsey Playfield for the show. It was nice to see so many different people coming together to share in this unique experience. 

The energetic crowd was not shy to cheer and clap as the band took their places at the side of the stage. Tomás Doncker and his fellow musicians began playing "Selassie," one of my personal favorite tracks on the album, to cue the dancers' and the actors' entrance. Tracy Jack's vibrant and high-energy choreography definitely shined. 

The play began and despite a few technical hiccups-- sometimes microphones just misbehave-- I found the staging and dialogue rather captivating and easy to follow, though the woman to my left might have disagreed with me. But hey, you can't please everyone and there is always going to be one Debbie-Downer in a crowd. 

One of my favorite lines from the production would be when Selassie is rejecting Italy's advances and denies Ethiopian cooperation: "I was not called to my father's throne to be your puppet." The show continually captured Selassie's fierce courage to stand up for his people, his country, and his birth right throughout the numerous trials he went through. The actors depicted the passion, emotion, anger and hurt for his country. They also showcased Selassie's ability to honor the dead and the blood shed despite his efforts to have Italy take responsibility for its violence. Though I can't remember the exact wording, something along the lines of "Ethiopia was saved not by prayers but by blood," was said. 

Selassie is famed for approaching the League of Nations to rectify Italy's actions but was ignored and accused of "disturbing the peace." Thus, the League turned a blind eye to Italy's border encroaching. 

The Power of the Trinity reminds us all that one person does have the ability to impact many and that standing up for what is right and just is our human obligation. 

Throughout the entire production, the atmosphere remained very laid back with many people enjoying beers, wine, pizza, frozen yogurt and the like. In addition to the gorgeous evening we had, The Power of the Trinity helped make my Tuesday night absolutely perfect. 

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see your favorite plays and musicals this summer.

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