Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: New Jersey

The Brothers Size
South Camden Theatre Company
Review by Rebecca Rendell

Photo Courtesy of South Camden Theatre Company
There is a particularly gut-wrenching moment in Academy Award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size, now running at South Camden Theatre Company, that I cannot get out of my head. Brothers Ogun (Craig McLaren) and Oshoosi Size (David Bazemore) are up late and laughing uncontrollably as they recall the details of an incident from their childhood. The pair's laughter is contagious. Their fraternal affection feels deep and warm. The incident they are reminiscing about is the traumatic discovery that their mother has passed away.

Director Damien J. Wallace's powerful production fully embraces that mixture of vulnerability and duality. The result is a uniquely insightful work of art.

The Brothers Size is based on West African myths, but set in bayou country of Louisiana. Recently released after a year in prison, Oshoosi Size is hopeful but frustrated by the practical limitations of his new everyday life. His surly older brother Ogun has given him a place to live and a job at his repair shop, but Oshoosi longs to drive fast and travel far. Ogun just wants what's best for his little brother. When Oshoosi's facile friend Elegba (Gregory Holmes Jr. exudes smooth confidence) glides into the repair shop one day, Ogun is immediately on edge. Oshoosi explains that Elegba was a dependable friend in the penitentiary–almost a brother–but relationships are just as fraught and complex in prison as they are on the outside.

Wallace is a veteran Philadelphia director who knows how to get the most out of his actors and their space. McLaren is gruff but warmhearted, while Bazemore is amicably optimistic. On stage they share an easy confidence that feels just like family. There is a palpable sense of tension when Holmes joins the pair on stage. That shifting dynamic is a testament to the skill of this impressive trio. The magic of the play is in the relationship between these men as they attempt to care for each other and understand themselves.

South Camden Theatre Company's small stage transforms seamlessly from apartment to auto repair shop to prison thanks to Robert Bingaman's clever scenic design and Joshua Samors' dynamic lighting. Karen Smith's passionate percussion casts a spell on the entire theater.

This was my first visit to the South Camden Theatre Company, but it will certainly not be my last. The Brothers Size sets the bar high, but if they keep attracting talent like Wallace, McClaren, Bazemore, and Holmes it will be well worth the ride.

The Brothers Size runs through September 25, 2022, at the Waterfront South Theatre 400 Jasper Street, Michael Doyle Lane, Camden NJ. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets and information, please visit or call 404-480-4489.

Craig McLaren: Ogun Size
David Bazemore: Oshoosi Size
Gregory Holmes Jr.: Elegba
Karen Smith: percussion

Director: Damien J. Wallace
Stage Manager/Technician: Llandra Marcano
Lighting Design/Technical Director/Sound Design: Joshua Samors
Props Master: Pan Staley
Scenic Design/Marketing: Robert Bingaman
Costume Design: Claudine Ayscue
Choreographer: Nastassja Basset