April 10 – 27, 2014
By Michael Aman
Directed by Weylin Simes
Role: Ernest Hogan
“Fantastic production. A bit of history, romance and comedy blended together. Very talented acting. It amazes me that a cast of two people can keep an audience entertained for 90 minutes. Kudos to Johnny Lee Davenport for his spectacular performance. 5 Stars.”
—Goldstar Member, Goldstar Reviews, (April 13, 2014)
“[T]here is a passel of entertainment along the way with ragtime music, the duo high-stepping, and a couple of vaudeville sketches that include Davenport donning a dress and mimicking a high-pitched feminine voice. . . . [Aman’s] characters are interesting people who we care about and the actors bring them fully alive with unflinching performances, showing their flaws as well as their strengths, their humor as well as their sorrow. Although there isn’t a lot of action, Symes creates some fluidity with his blocking and Davenport’s antics when Hogan performs for Sharon, augmented by subtle lighting changes by designer John Eckert.”
—Nancy Grossman, BroadwayWorld (April 14, 2014)
“Not many actors can command the stage like Johnny Lee Davenport. An imposing and electric presence in one Bostonarea production after another, he’s possessed of the kind of charisma that can elevate a play past its shortcomings.
sssssDavenport . . . is entirely credible as a born entertainer, someone who is fully alive only when he has an audience. His Ernest is a figure of outsize gusto, whether he is boasting about headlining at the Winter Garden, sliding into minstrel caricature to mock white assumptions, or jubilantly boasting about the many costly possessions his talents have brought him.
sssssYet Davenport is equally persuasive in conveying Ernest’s tragic aspect: a man who spent a long time hiding from himself but has now finally run out of places to hide. Watching this superb actor pulling out all the stops to bring his character to life, you may find yourself wishing he didn’t have to work so hard.”
—Don Aucoin, Boston Globe (April 16, 2014)
“[T]he acting by the estimable Johnny Lee Davenport, making his Stoneham debut as Hogan, and Laura Latreille as Sharon Flynn, the nurse who turns out to be a soul mate of sorts, is first-rate.”
—Rich Fahey, On Boston Stages (April 17, 2014)
“Michael Aman’s two-person, one-act play, The Unbleached American, stars actor Johnny Lee Davenport, who delivers a riveting performance as the ailing Hogan, and Laura Latreille, as fictitious Irish private nurse, Sharon Flynn, whom Hogan hires to care for him and hopefully preserve his life. Set in 1906, in Hogan’s New York City town house parlor, Davenport is larger than life, whether he’s reclining on the sofa, plinking the piano keys, playing the gramophone, taking photos with a nifty,new camera, swigging from a bottle or flask, or doing a little dance while recalling his glory days on stage. [He delivers a] sterling performance.”
—Sheila Barth, The Theater Mirror (April 18, 2014)