FLY Review

The cast of FLY. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The cast of FLY. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Links to all reviews can be found on the BTC REVIEWS page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my FaceBook fan page. You can receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

FLY presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Oct. 6. You can read the show description here.

Terrell Donnell Sledge as J. Allen (foreground) on a training flight with Greg Brostrom as Capt. O’Hurley. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Terrell Donnell Sledge as J. Allen (foreground) on a training flight with Greg Brostrom as Capt. O’Hurley. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

At the core of the show is a strong four-man ensemble playing the recruits. Each actor made smart character choices that allowed these distinct personalities to come together as a unit.

The scene that takes place the night before the bombing played out extremely well with heart and humor and was a personal favorite of the show.

It is the combination of the set design (by Beowulf Boritt), the lighting design (by Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot) and the projection design (by Clint Allen) that creates the dramatic visual impact of the production. Excellent sound effects (by John Gromada) during the battle scenes really amps up the tension well.

For the most part, I found the tap dancer to be an interesting addition to the show. Whether mimicking a fighter engine or the cadence of soldiers marching, Omar Edwards was captivating to watch.

Eddie R. Brown III as W.W., Timothy Sekk as Bomber Co-Pilot Shaw, Cary Donaldson as Bomber Pilot Reynolds and David Pegram as Chet fly a bombing mission over Germany. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Eddie R. Brown III as W.W., Timothy Sekk as Bomber Co-Pilot Shaw, Cary Donaldson as Bomber Pilot Reynolds and David Pegram as Chet fly a bombing mission over Germany. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

I did have trouble understanding the dialogue at times, mostly due to the actors yelling over the sound effects during the battle scenes.

A problem I did have with the production is that the script assumes a level of knowledge about the Tuskegee Airmen that many audience members may not have. Clocking in at 95 minutes, the intermission-less performance could use a bit more exposition about the airmen, their accomplishments, and their place in history.

The cast of FLY arrives for flight training. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The cast of FLY arrives for flight training. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Expected themes such as racism and bigotry are discussed in familiar terms, but not explored in new ways. The transition back into present day at the end of the show was a bit abrupt. Not discussed is that due the success of the Tuskegee Airmen, the military began the de-segregation of the armed forces in 1948. Another part of their legacy that wasn’t explored was the generations of Americans who owe their existence to the valor and sacrifice (66 airmen lost their lives during the war) of these brave men.

Overall a fine tribute to these amazing and inspiring war heroes.

Click here for a complete list of show times for FLY.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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