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"SINS" Offers Compelling Look at Families


Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:48 pm

Tim Clodfelter/Winston-Salem Journal


Three generations of a family try to find ways to bond in “Sins of the Father,” a compelling drama written by playwright Synthia Williams.


The story revolves around Caleb “Tigereye” Hamilton (Nykki LaMarr), a popular blues musician whose personal life has had enough drama to fuel several of his albums. In addition to playing Caleb, LaMarr wrote several of the songs sung by his character.


After many years travelling the world on tour — and to avoid family strife back home — he decides to return to see his father and the son he left his father to raise.

His father George (Taurean Blacque, best known for his role as Detective Washington in the classic TV series “Hill Street Blues”) isn’t happy to see him, thinking at first he is an intruder in their home. But his animosity pales in comparison with Joshua (Paris Crayton III), Caleb’s son, who wants nothing to do with his father. Caleb is about to take the bar exam and become a lawyer, with plans of marrying his girlfriend, who is from a wealthy family.


After travelling for close to 20 years, going wherever the music led him, Caleb doesn’t know what to make of his son. “You left a boy and now you’ve come back to a man,” George warns, and as he predicted, the reunion does not go smoothly.


The life choices made by Caleb — and, before him, by George — haunt all three men as they try to reconcile and break the cycle of dysfunction in their lives. Along the way, secrets are revealed, including Caleb’s true motivation for coming back home and what tore him and his father apart in the first place.


The play’s director, Keith Franklin, provides some levity as George’s boisterous best friend T-Bone, and the women in the lives of the three Hamilton men are discussed frequently, though

none appear on stage. Their presence is still felt, with the two elder men haunted by the choices they made in the past and the younger one trying not to make mistakes of his own.


Blacque, LaMarr and Crayton all do convincing work portraying family members trying to work past their problems and learn how to get along .

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