Here is a classic good news - bad news offering. The good news is that Daniel Beaty's play, "Mr. Joy," being presented as part of the current ArtsEmerson season is tremendous. The bad news is that the remaining performances through the end of this weekend are sold out. There is a ray of hope. This announcement is taken from the ArtsEmerson website:
performances are appearing as . However, tickets may become available! Tickets are frequently returned or exchanged for other performances, so check back later. Additionally, on the day of a given performance, a waitlist will be started at the Emerson/Paramount Center one hour prior to each curtain and any available tickets will be released for sale beginning a fifteen minutes prior to curtain to the people on the wait list. You must be in person at the Box Office to be placed on the waitlist and when your name is called.**
Why is the show selling out every performance? Elementary, my dear Watson. It is terrific theater that touches the soul and challenges the mind. The play is lovingly crafted by Mr. Beaty to reflect a microcosm of a neighborhood in Harlem that includes African-American residents and some Asian, including old Mr. Joy, who has kept a shoe repair shop in the same location for 30 years.
The play opens with a young girl, Mr. Joy's assistant and protege, bewildered that he has not appeared to open the shop. On the stoop in front of the shop we see a collection of shoes and flowers. We learn through a variety of characters that Mr. Joy had been robbed and beaten and lies in a coma in the hospital. As the actions continues, we meet a cavalcade of characters, representing the full spectrum of the neighborhood denizens:
- Mr. Joy's daughter
- The little girl, whose parents have died of AIDS
- Her grandmother
- A successful African-American real estate developer who is a Republican and who has a transgendered son/daughter from whom he is estranged.
- The developer's child, formerly known as Austin, now known as Ashes
- The developer's white girlfriend who is trying to have a baby through artificial insemination
- Two young gang members, one of whom is Mr. Joy's assailant
- A street person who once once been a successful Revolutionary Artist with a pet snake
"Mr. Joy" by Daniel Beaty
PAramount Black Box
Through October 18th