A Free Man of Color

Saturday, July 20 th, 2019 at 00:07 am 


A Free Man of Color is a freewheeling epic set in 1801 New Orleans. Jacques Cornet, the title character, is a new world Don Juan and the wealthiest inhabitant of this sexually charged and racially progressive city. Jacques thinks all is well in his paradise until history intervenes, setting off a chain of events which no one, much less this free man of color, realizes is about to splinter the world.


A Free Man of Color stars Jeffrey Wright, who is a wonderful actor who won the Tony originally for Angels in America, and I think also won an Oscar nomination for Basquait.  He’s a wonderful actor, and he plays an interesting character in 1801 in New Orleans when New Orleans was really sort of unique in the history of the world in that in fact he was a slave that had been freed and was very powerful.  The costumes are wonderful.  There are 25 people in the cast. Lincoln Center is notorious for doing these big sprawling historical dramas like The Coast of Utopia, which was wonderful last year.  This one is a little confused.  The second act worked much better than the first.  It is an interesting time in history, but the first act clearly needed some serious editing.  So I gave it two and a half stars.