Bloodline - Lindsay Taylor Presents

Reviewed By Stephanie Bonnett

Written and performed by Paris Crayton III, “Bloodline” is a semi-autobiographical work prompted by a visit to a family gravesite with his grandmother. Presenting a multi-character, multigenerational solo show is a formidable task which Paris navigates with ease. The rousing standing ovation at the end of his opening night performance was already a given by the midway point of the show.

An animated performer, Paris converses with a multitude of characters and his side of the dialog is consistently engaged and expressive. He takes the audience on a journey from tremendous sadness to equally compelling joy, and back. Interjecting unexpected humorous one-liners throughout, he elicits bursts of laughter from the audience before taking them back inside to another glimpse of pain.

The performance begins with Paris’s grandfather, meeting his grandmother, moving around in time and place to end with Paris himself at his grandfather’s gravesite. Using minimal props, just a hat, a glass, and a couple of chairs, Paris moves back and forth among multiple times and places with various unseen companions. He does so extremely well, making it clear which generational Paris is speaking.

There are dark topics, including alcoholism, suicide, fear of coming out, struggle of wanting a family where he can be his actual gay self, divorce, and one heartbreaking statement: “I never really felt like my dad liked me”. But into the darkness, Paris brings light. Highly recommend.

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