Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Mooi Street Moves 

One of the most highly polished entries in a career of fine, neglected plays about race

Wednesday, Apr 28 2004
Comments
Clive Chafer's semihomeless Theatrefirst company turns the elegant patio room of the Berkeley City Club (where Aurora Theatre once played) into a laundry-and-shoebox-cluttered squat for a biting drama about homelessness and displacement in post-apartheid South Africa. Mooi Street Moves shows a white farm boy, Henry, returning to an apartment his brother used to rent, but finding in his place a dreadlocked, cheerful, and deeply unhelpful African named Stix. This suburban neighborhood of Johannesburg has been abandoned by middle-class Afrikaners and overtaken by Africans in a sudden sort of white flight, mainly because of inadequate civil rights legislation in the aftermath of apartheid (according to director Clive Chafer's useful notes). Stix survives as a thieving middleman; he fills the squat with boxes of TVs, shoes, and toasters for resale. Henry himself is homeless, so to live with Stix and earn money he learns the patter and moves of a street hustler -- "Mooi Street moves." Paul Slabolepszy is one of South Africa's leading playwrights, and under Chafer's crisp direction, not to mention pitch-perfect acting by David Skillman (as Stix) and Joseph Foss (as Henry), his brief, slightly contrived pas de deux comes on bright and strong. Chafer has made a local career of mounting fine, neglected plays about race from every corner of the former British Empire -- India, Israel, South Africa, even England itself -- and Mooi Street is one of his most highly polished.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • The Soiled Dove
    Vau de Vire presents The Soiled Dove, a Barbary Coast themed dinner-theater complete with the Emperor himself stumbling around in a drunken stupor. Photographs by Beth LaBerge.
  • 4th Annual Mr. Marina Competition
    Mike Thomas was announced Mr. Marina 2015 on Wednesday, March 18th. Chubbies, spray tans and unitards hit the stage for the 4th Annual Mr. Marina competition raising $195k. Highlights included a great rendition of Sia's Chandelier and a marina inspired "Fancy" performance. Photographs by Calibree Photography.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular