Celeste Bedford Walker's compelling drama is based on an obscure incident from the paleolithic era of American race relations. The script follows a small company of black WWI soldiers (Dorian C. Baucum, Bill Lee Brown, Kaylon Hunt, Dwain A. Perry), bivouacked in Houston, who are enthusiastically awaiting their chance to fight in the Great War and gain some measure of respect. But their raw eagerness soon crashes into an entrenched barrier of prejudice from an alcoholic, redneck officer (Jacob Sidney) and in the city, where threats and assaults by citizens and civil authorities are everyday occurrences. When a horribly bloody incident occurs, it sets off the ensuing rebellion that would come to be known as the Camp Logan Riots of 1917, the largest mutiny in American history. Bedford's script is humorous and detailed, featuring characters that are as animated and sympathetic as they are emotionally accessible. The narrative also is nicely embellished with fascinating period film footage. Rodney Rincon and Phil Buono's rudimentary barracks mock-up is surprisingly effective, and the performances are quite good under Alex Morris' direction. Rounding out the cast is the outstanding Lee Stansberry as Sgt. McKinney. Robey Theater Company, Sparkling City Entertainment and Juvee Productions at the Los Angeles Theater Center, 514 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru May 27. (866) 811-4111, thelatc.org.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: April 28. Continues through May 27, 2012

LA Weekly