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“So fortunate to have this gem!”
Review of The Aurora Fox

The Aurora Fox
Ranked #13 of 27 things to do in Aurora
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Attraction details
Owner description: Professional live theater in the heart of Aurora's Cultural Arts District.
Aurora, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“So fortunate to have this gem!”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

I have gone to many productions here over the 20+ years we have lived in Aurora. I can't say enough about the skill and production technique that come through to the audience. The most recent play we saw was "The Color Purple". I had seen the movie, but to see it done with live performers really brought tears to my eyes. For such a small stage, the plays draw you in and you forget the size, you are so intent on the production.

Visited April 2013
Thank lesliesuej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Crumbs from the Table of Joy”
Reviewed February 3, 2012

I recently went to a production of "Crumbs from the Table of Joy" at the Aurora Fox. The studio theatre is a little small, but I think it served the production well. The staff were friendly and helpful. Here is my review of the show.

Life through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Ernestine Crump is a picture show. Dance numbers and witty banter provide a filter through which she can maintain a sense of innocence when she finds her family uprooted from Florida to Brooklyn in the fall of 1950.

In the moments before curtain went up on the regional premiere of “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” at The Aurora Fox patrons whispered about “Ruined,” one of playwright Lynn Nottage’s newest and darkest works. The anticipatory chatter suggested the possibility of an evening rife with emotional struggle and little levity. Yet when the five member cast took the stage it became evident these fears were wholly unfounded.

Indeed the struggles of the African American family in the decade before the Civil Rights Movement are not diminished. In fact, the play begins with death forcing widower Godfrey Crump (Carjardo Lindsey) into a religious fervor which drives him and his daughters Ernestine (Krisangela Washington) and Ermina (Emma Atuire) north. An undercurrent of grief ebbs and flows throughout. But “Crumbs” is Ernestine’s memory, not a discourse on oppression. As is typical of individual memory, the story is anecdotal, allowing for humor and, on occasion, revision.

“Crumbs” is beautifully simple, unexpectedly funny, heartbreaking, yet uplifting. The pacing, as much to the credit of director donnie l. betts as to Nottage, is near perfect, allowing space for tears which is not encroached upon by laughter, rather soothed by it.

The plays speaks to the nature of family as much as it does inequality, highlighting that battles fought in the home are often more personally meaningful than those fought by society as a whole. This is never more evident than in the subplot written for Aunt Lily Ann Green superbly acted by Jada Roberts. Lily, an independent thinker and new woman, is delightfully sassy, larger-than-life, and nearly suffocating to live with. Her spirit is infectious, simultaneously causing Ernestine’s worldview to widen and the family’s reputation to sink due to Communist inferences.

The plot thickens when Godfrey, spurred by a need to counteract Lily’s worldly influence, marries a white woman. But not just any white woman, a white German woman. Needless to say, in the decade after Germans became the enemy of Western civilization, the entrance of Gerte Schulte (Kirsten Deane) into an already turbulent family dynamic proves counter to Godfrey’s original intention. Nor does this bode well for the Crump reputation outside the home.

The racial implications are essential to understanding the message of the play. There is a need for common ground which Ernestine creates when she rewrites scenes as they would have been played out in an Old Hollywood film, reconciliations made and happy endings granted. The crux of the Nottage’s message is that the common ground exits, but pride steps in to thwart communication. Lily cannot see past Gerte’s white face and influences Ernestine and Ermina to do the same.

Godfrey, allowing his emotional responsibility to be replaced by the portrait of aloof spiritual leader Father Divine, essentially introduces new internal crises and is unable to foresee the consequences. Lindsey is to be commended for his ability to find Godfrey’s center, an awkward and uncertain man searching for his place in the city just as his adolescent children are.
It is a testament to Nottage’s ability as a playwright that one can come away from “Crumbs” with such a deep understanding of the internal struggle of Crump family, yet have such a profound experience of their joys as well. Nottage plays nimbly with the paradox of hope and desperation. But one does not leave the theatre depressed. In fact, “Crumbs” gives ample opportunity for laughter. It is not one of those plays which leave the audience dumbfounded. In fact, reaction seems to be necessary. Ernestine is in essence having a conversation with the audience.

The Aurora Fox Studio Theatre is the perfect venue for this conversation. Seating seventy-two, the space is intimate. One feels a part of the small family living space in which we see not only the Crump living room, but a movie theatre, subway station, and banquet hall—the fluidity of which is a testament to the skills of scenic designer Jen Orf and the whole of the Aurora Fox technical crew.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Rebecca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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