A spectacular cast anchors the controversial ‘Yonadab’

With the sun shining down on Jerusalem, Yonadab enters the court of King David, speaking to the audience about his plan to destroy the house of King David. “Yonadab” is a complex story with strong themes of deception, betrayal, murder, and incest. In the opening scene, Yonadab confides to the audience his true feelings about King David, as well as his schemes of bringing about the destruction of the monarch. While speaking, Amnon, King David’s son, walks in, telling Yonadab about his carnal desires towards his half-sister Tamar.

Unbeknownst to Amnon, Yonadab had just been given the perfect plot to bring about the destruction of the royal house..

But while deceiving his friend to think it’s okay to sleep with his half sister, Yonadab didn’t know that he would also be deceived by the person he least expected.

“Yonadab” is a rich play, with each scene demanding a different range of emotions. It requires a certain type of actor to bring out all the different elements of the characters.

This cast did just that. They reached deep within, and managed to draw out the vast range of dynamics for their characters.

James Asdell did a wonderful job portraying Yonadab. His facial expressions, paired with the delivery of his lines, took the audience on a fervent journey, from making the audience despise him to feeling human compassion for him. Asdell had a distinctly powerful stage presence.

One actor that particularly stood out was Janiqua Nettles, who played the part of  Tamar. Nettles brought varying elements  to her character by subtly changing the tone of her voice. She would be seductive one minute,  angry and feisty the next. She carried a solid physicality on stage, with every movement she made immaculate  and intense.

The simple stage worked for this play. A large projection screen displayed bold colors that depicted day and night in the background. In the foreground was  a set of stairs, with a throne for King David.

What really made this play compelling was the lighting and sound elements of the production. With each scene, the lights would shift to powerfully bold reds, blues, and yellows, casting various moods.

The music had seductive Middle-Eastern cadences that set a convincing mood for a story in Jerusalem circa 1,000 B.C. The combination of music, lights, props, and exceptionally strong acting gave this play the perfect synergy.

This theatrical play casts an incredible group of students that took this play to another level with their distinct body movements, facial expressions, costumes, and makeup. Seeing these wonderful actors engross themselves in this story of deception, betrayal and intrigue is highly recommended.

Remaining show times are October 19, and 20, with 2 p.m. matinee performances on Oct 14, 20, and 21. Ticket sales are $15 for general admission.