Smoldering embers

The reflections of Allied Theatre's Fires in the Mirror are all surface

Be Boyd portrays activist Sonny Carson, one of 23 people who inhabit Anna Deveare Smith's handy dismantling of black-Jewish hysteria in Crown Heights.
Buddy Myers
Be Boyd portrays activist Sonny Carson, one of 23 people who inhabit Anna Deveare Smith's handy dismantling of black-Jewish hysteria in Crown Heights.

Details

Allied Theatre Group,
3055 S. University Drive
Fort Worth

(817) STG-WEST

Through January 22

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One could argue, of course, that the rational mind should take a back seat while watching Fires in the Mirror simply because the show is intended to document America's racial insanity. But applying Anna Deveare Smith's method to this madness seems, in the end, to accomplish little more than a live if unusually rousing 90-minute talk show interviewing Crown Heights participants and observers. I've come to divine a more overarching design in great and good stage productions. By curtain time, the voices have all canceled one another out, and you're impressed, if not entirely moved, by a shotgun series of mimicries. A famous quote goes something like "all sound arguments are correct in what they assert and incorrect in what they deny or omit." You leave Allied Theatre, duly awed by Be Boyd's endurance and versatility, feeling that everybody who's spoken is simultaneously right and terribly wrong. Maybe that's just the insoluble nature of the racial dilemma in America, but rerunning it as live weekend performances feels tantamount to exploiting some tragic divisions for easy emotion.

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