Forest City, Cleveland Play House

Drury Theatre
October 21– November 16, 2003

As JT, with Caroline S. Clay as Sandra Mae

As JT, with Wiley Moore as his stepbrother

Critical Response

Johnny Lee Davenport brings JT’s multiple weaknesses alive without robbing him of dignity.”
—Tony Brown, Cleveland Plain Dealer (October 27, 2003)

“The cast is universally excellent. . . . Johnny Lee Davenport gives us a JT that is both strong and weak. He clearly shows us the hard head and the soft underbelly.”
—Roy Berko, (October 27, 2003)

“Brought to life by a stellar cast at the Cleveland Play House, this world premiere brilliantly conveys the aspirations and frustrations of one family living at ground zero of the hospital expansion—fighting to save their house, their lifestyle, and, as it turns out, their lives in the face of what appears to be inevitable change.

As J.T., Johnny Lee Davenport captures every nuance of his character’s macho posturing and raging insecurities. And Davenport’s scenes with Caroline S. Clay, who plays the sensible yet tormented Sandra, are so touching and genuine, you feel as if you ought to excuse yourself to let them be alone. But don’t—otherwise, you’ll miss the moment when husband and wife flirt with each other through their children’s Barbie and Ken dolls, a scene at once pricelessly amusing and deeply affecting.”
—Christine Howey, Scene (October 29, 2003)

“Until he’s forced into a weepy regret, Johnny Lee Davenport invests JT with a warm and fallible strength.”
—James Damico, Cleveland Free Times (October 29, 2003)

Johnny Lee Davenport does a solid job portraying both sides of JT, deftly using his wide eyes to express JT’s emotions. Davenport’s cough seems natural, and he stumbles across the stage, convincing us that JT is a man about to keel over at any time.”
—Aaron Krause, Norwalk Reflector (October 30, 2003)

“There are strong performances . . . from Johnny Lee Davenport, as the beleaguered J.T.”
—Teddi Gibson-Bianchi, Twinsburg Sun (October 30, 2003)

Johnny Lee Davenport as JT seethes with vulnerability, anger, pride and overriding fear that he won’t be able to provide for his family. Davenport’s riveting performance finds its match in Caroline S. Clay as Sandra Mae Taylor, JT’s God-fearing, church-going scold of a wife.”
—Fran Heller, Cleveland Jewish News (October 31, 2003)

“Muscular performances from Johnny Lee Davenport as the stalwart provider and Caroline S. Clay as his nagging wife are highlights.”
—Fran Heller, Backstage (November 14, 2003)