Reviewed by Paula Citron
Tombs of the Vanishing Indians
Native Earth Performing Arts
Written by Marie Clements
Directed by Yvette Nolan
Performed by Michelle St. John, Nicole Jay-Fraser, Falen Johnson, P J Prudat, David Storch, Martin Julien and Keith Barker
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Mar. 9 to 27, 2011
Native Earth Performing Arts puts on plays that sear the soul. Tombs of the Vanishing Indians by Marie Clements contains very deep themes.
Clements wrote the play when she discovered that many people think that the aboriginal population of southern California no longer exists. This spurred Clements to focus on the Gabrielino/Tongva people who live in Los Angeles.
The play is set in 1973. Three Gabrielino sisters are taken away from their mother, and they lose touch with each other. One becomes a doctor, another an actress, and the third ends up on the streets. Each has a white man in her life.
Yvette Nolan has directed the play with finesse, but other than the superb Michelle St. John who performs various roles, the acting by the others is on the weak side.
Nonetheless, despite Clements’ heavy hammer approach, the content of the play is very compelling.
Tombs of the Vanishing Indians continues at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre until Mar. 27.