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Capital Fringe Review: ‘& Afterwards’ by JR Russ

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& Afterwards, a solo performance by Kevin Boggs and directed by Amy Couchoud, tells the story of a country boy who makes a new life for himself in Dupont Circle, 1993. But before I go on, a disclaimer: I sit on the board of SpeakeasyDC, of which Mr. Boggs is one of our teaching tellers. That being said, the form of stories for our open mic nights are roughly 7-minute pieces, so a one-man show is certainly a different animal than our normal fair.

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Boggs stories illuminate a history that might be known anecdotally, but isn’t shared as much given the prevalence and visibility of the LGBT community today. The piece is very similar to one of the very first images he shares with us, the light at the top of the Dupont Circle Metro escalator, and emerging into it as you exit the subway and enter the surface world. Through his work at & Afterwards over the years, he shares part of a history two decades in the making, and reminds us how the Dupont circle community and neighborhood used to be.
And while it’s a very personal journey, many of the struggles are certainly shared by many, from figuring out who your real friends are to what you want to do in life. The only challenge with the piece is the space, in that the black box venue with the lighting can make Boggs appear to be more removed than his storytelling feels. But he has more than enough focus, energy, and heart to compensate for that, making this show a ‘must-see.’
Running Time: 75 minutes.
& Afterwards plays through July 27, 2013 at the Warehouse – 645 New York Avenue NW, in Washington, DC. For performance times and to purchase tickets, visit the show’s Capital Fringe page.

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