Tobie Windham and Joshua Elijah Reese as Oshoosi and Ogun Size in The Brothers Size at Magic Theatre. Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Octavio Solis. Photo by Jennifer Reiley.

THE BROTHERS SIZE: Drama, Part Two of the Brothers/Sisters Plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Octavio Solis. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, 3rd Fl, San Francisco, CA 94123. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, 3rd Fl, San Francisco, CA 94123. Box Office: (415) 441-8822 or visit


The Bothers/Sister Plays, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s trilogy of life in the mythical Louisiana Bayou town of San Pere begot life at the Marin Theatre Company with their stunning production of In the Red and Brown Water the first of the series. The baton has been passed to Magic Theatre where Part Two: The Brothers Size is receiving a muscular standing ovation production under Octavio Solis’s direction. It is a taut memorable 80-minute evening without intermission.

It is not necessary to have seen Part 1 at the Marin Theatre Company (It has been extended to October 10 and should not be missed), since The Brothers Size stands alone. There are only three characters, all with Yoruba religious mythical names to emphasize that the actors face “the challenge of a role greater than himself. . . and he ‘becomes’ his role.” Joshua Elijah Reese, Tobie Windham and Alex Ubokudon respectively and certainly do become Ogun Size, Oshoosi Size and Elegba. Although there are two dream/nightmare sequences that take on a mythical patina format, myth takes a back seat to a gritty masculine story of brotherly love amidst present day racism.

Ogun Size runs a very successful auto repair garage and his younger brother Oshoosi returns home after being paroled from jail. . Elegba, a troublesome trickster as his name suggests, has been Oshoosi’s lover/protector while they were in jail. Oshoosi is floundering without direction and Ogun has accepted the burden of being his protector and mentor. Conflict between the brothers is exacerbated with Elegba’s influence leading Oshoosi into dangerous social behavior and eventual conflict with the law.

The honed physical bodies of the actors reflects the passionate writing of the author who has fashioned a powerful well constructed play that fits together perfectly and has the audience jumping to its feet for an extended applause. Within the tense drama there is ironic humor with a beautifully written scene with Tobie Windham [Oshooi] and Alex Ubokudon [Elegba] acting out their interaction with a local cop harassing them at a traffic stop. . The brothers animosity and sibling rivalry meld into true love as Elegba’s love is gently rejected.

The Magic Theatre’s intimate three-sided performing area is a perfect setting to draw the audience into the play. The production staff has fashioned a dark, minimalist set of a garage with a few tires and oil drums reflecting the oppressive atmosphere of life in the bayou. Whereas Marin Theatre’s production was an intellectual journey into the psyche of the characters with a Greek chorus and directional conceits that sometimes overshadows the story line, Octavio Solis allows his trio be the center of attention.

When you do go, and you must, be prepared for a griping evening that will fortify your desire to see all three parts of the trilogy. Next up is A.C.T.’s production of Part 3: Marcus: or The Secret of Sweet, opening in November.

Kedar K. Adour, Md

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