I did not expect this, to be honest; those black-lit dance moves firing up Manhattan Theatre Club‘s revival of Skeleton Crew at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway with tense precision. It was a marvel to breathe in, exciting and gearing us up energetically with the fine pointed work of performer/choreographer Adesola Osakalumi (Public’s Cullud Wattah) and his strong carefully attuned moves, alongside the magnificent projections by Nicholas Hussong (Alley’s Grounded), original music and sound design by Robert Kaplowitz (MTC’s Cost of Living), and original music and lyrics by Jimmy Keys (“The Drawing Board“). The formula unleashed the physical manifestations of the machinery at play with a force that had to be reckoned with, planting us firmly in this hard-surfaced factory setting where Dominique Morisseau (Paradise Blue; Pipeline) has placed her hard-working characters.
In this well-appointed cluttered break-room of a past-its-prime factory, thanks to the solid work of set designer Michael Carnahan (59E59’s I and You), costume designer Emilio Sosa (Broadway’s Trouble in Mind), and lighting designer Rui Rita (Signature’s Paradise Blue), a drama of desperation and engagement rolls out effectively, as directed with a compelling air of authenticity by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Broadway’s Lackawanna Blues). Striding confidently forward, the revival has arrived at just the right moment in time with an expansive energy and a tough tenderness worthy of us clocking in and paying close attention.