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Review by Velo

If you had to boil Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play, Appropriate down to two words, it would be, very impressive.  Directed by Eric Ting, Appropriate explores the events surrounding estranged family members who convene in Arkansas to settle their father’s estate.  Amongst the ruin and clutter of their patriarch’s home an album filled with disturbing photos is discovered.  Sparks fly when the siblings debate possible family ties to this unwanted legacy, and their tenuous reunion brings up old rivalries and family secrets that soon toss them into a tailspin.Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.17.54 AMVery impressive is the writing by Jacobs-Jenkins.  With a runtime of about three hours, the pacing of the plot is ideal.  The dialogue is sharp, intelligent, and authentic on all levels.  However, it is Jacob-Jenkins’ use of humor that makes the most significant impact.  As the play meanders through various taboo subjects, it is the humor that grounds and connects the characters with its audience.

Very impressive is the development of each character.  The storytelling displays each character as likeable at first glance.  However, as the tension escalates, so does the number of flaws within each character.  Yet, honest and true imperfection within this play’s context is very relatable.

The set was beyond impressive as the house changed like seasons in a year.  From complete chaos to garage sale order, the set gives the back-story on their father’s hopes, dreams and past transgressions.  In addition, the excellent attention to detail made the house an additional character with its own wants and needs.I highly recommend Appropriate.  Not only because of its writing, characters and set design but because it is superbly fun emotional ride.  A ride that will keep you thinking about the characters long after the curtain comes down.

Performances will continue until November 1, 2015 at Mark Taper Forum 135 N Grand Ave Los Angeles CA. 90012. Click here to purchase tickets!