Monday, May 9, 2016

Lost Boy in Whole Foods

 "When God made Sudan, he smiled...and cried."
People want to do the right thing.   Christine is impressed by a worker at Whole Foods and her life changes.   Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods he opened last weekend at the Omaha Community Playhouse.  Her experiences of discovering this little bit of positivity in her daily routine create an enthralling experience for everyone in this audience.
Who doesn't need a little smile and a positive perspective when dealing with a divorce and a difficult teenager?
Hope is what brings many people to this country.  Even your ancestors likely endured the treacherous journey due to dreams of a better life for themselves and their children.
Gabriel is no different.  He dreams of being the black Donald Trump. 
Gabriel's past never needs to be repeated.
He is one of the Sudanese refugees who left their country during their civil war.  He trekked over eight hundred miles in the wild African savannah while frequently carrying his younger brother hoping to live temporarily at a refugee camp in the neighboring country of Kenya.  The better life in these camps allowed only one bowl of grain each day.
Many charities, including Catholic Charities and Lutheran Family Services in our metro area, transported these children, under the age of eighteen to the .S.  While living here safely, these boys were educated and given jobs while their dreams were to return eventually to their countries as professionals.
Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods is a story about Gabriel.   He currently is working and living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2004.   Christine, portrayed by Julie Fitzgerald Ryan meets Gabriel while shopping.   She is a recently divorced mother raising a teenaged daughter.   While meeting Gabriel, she is impressed with his optimistic perspective on life and finds his positivity charismatic.
As Gabriel, Justice Jamal Jones is perfect.  I found it difficult to believe that he is a local high school student.   His accent, demeanor, and confidence created the perfect immigrant refugee and even slightly humorous while explaining his metaphors about life.    I noticed the entire audience often smiling during these times.
As Alex, the daughter, Victoria Luther excelled as the difficult and often angry teenager.   Anthony Holmes created the challenging role of Panther, who is one of the Sudanese boys in this country for assistance but lost in the system of rules.  He is lost from his country and now lost in the bureaucracy within the charitable organization.   
Michael Dolan played by Mark Kocsis and Segel Mohammed by Rusheaa Smith-Turner were superb in their roles of social workers in a rules-based system and the frustrating job of not being able to meet all the various needs of those they are helping.
Julie Fitzgerald Ryan perfectly became Christine in revealing to the audience the challenge of "doing the right thing."   Between being a part-time parent of a daughter who is the typical teenager, struggling with a divorce and the former spouse remarrying quickly, and helping those in need, she is often overwhelmed but always continues with her duties while maintaining her faith in the world.
The set itself was unquestionably unique intermixing Africa with America and adapting to the needs of each scene.   Personally, I questioned the sand on the stage, but it was inspirational with the intermixing of the two cultures.
The crew for this show excelled in every aspect.   The lighting was seamless.   The sound system was masterful with purposeful background music and sounds for each scene.  The artistry is the scenes, wardrobe, and props perfectly matched the intentions of the play.  Dialect coaches, directors, managers, and carpenters are beautifully and thoughtfully combined their talents in this thought-provoking play.
The show continues at the Omaha Community Playhouse located at 6915 Cass Street in Omaha through June 5th every Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices are $36 for adults and $22 for students.  Special group rates are available.  To purchase, contact the box office at (402) 553-0800, or toll-free at (888) 782-4338, or
The night I saw the performance, it began promptly at 7:30, a fifteen-minute intermission began at 8:25 and the show concluded at 9:40.
Lost Boy at Whole Foods is insightful and thought inducing show for all adults of all ages.   It left be wondering if I am making concentric circles in my life or simply lines.  See this show to find out more.

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