Pure Confidence – Theater Review
Set against a backdrop of fast horses, gritty racetracks, and high stakes betting, “PURE CONFIDENCE” is an exhilarating story of human triumph that explores the meaning of freedom. On the eve of the Civil War, champion jockey Simon Cato is one of the most successful athletes of his day, dominating the sport of horse racing. But Simon is also a slave. Hired out regularly by his owner to Colonel Wiley Johnson, owner of the prize thoroughbred Pure Confidence, Simon wants the one thing the Colonel by law can’t give him: his freedom. A funny and daring look at the complexity of race, love, and dignity, PURE CONFIDENCE chronicles the story of Simon’s race to freedom.
“Pure Confidence” is at the 5959 theater and looks at a side of America that has not been looked at very much. The idea is a young, black, jockey, except he wasn’t called black then, he was called Negro at best, is the best Jockey in America, and his white masters, yes he was a slave, deal with his wish to be free. Then we fast forward about 15 years after the Civil War, because this happened just before the Civil War, to find out what freedom has done for him. It’s true in an awful lot of cases that revolution does not necessarily deal very well with poor people. I think this is very well acted. It’s an interesting subject, as a Southerner I am particularly interested in it, but the cast is uniformly good. The second act will probably blow your socks off. Gavin Lawrence plays silent Cato the jockey, and his lady love is played by Christiana Clark and both of them are very good as is the whole cast. So if you ever wondered about the human side of reconstruction and the Civil War, “Pure Confidence” is just for you. “Pure Confidence” actually is not the name of the jockey, even though he seems a bit cocky, it’s the name of the horse he rides. So go see “Pure Confidence”. Four stars.