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'Broke-ology' sees richness in black family life

Jules Becker | 4/13/2011, 8:06 a.m.
Patrice Jean-Baptiste (l) and Johnny Lee Davenport in “Broke-ology.” (Mark S. Howard photo) Jules Becker ...
Patrice Jean-Baptiste (l) and Johnny Lee Davenport in “Broke-ology.” Mark S. Howard

While Curtis earned a certificate in music recording and engineering at Northeastern Broadcasting School and has played drums since the age of 11 — even as a petty officer cryptologist in the U.S. Navy — he has given considerable attention to his acting. His stage credits include “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” and “A More Perfect Union” at Company One and “Mother G” and “Spunk” with Our Place Theatre, Inc. as well as “A Streetcar Named Desire” (the role of Mitch) and “12 Angry Jurors” with Roxbury Repertory Theatre. Asked if he has had to take time off (from his band The Electric Soul) to do this play, Curtis confessed, “I feel like I’m two-timing my music … Acting is my new mistress.”

“Broke-ology” is a powerful journey, one in which aging African American patriarch William King and his caring sons Ennis and Malcolm confront universal but no less compelling family challenges. Subtitled “The study of being broke,” Nathan Louis Jackson’s warm and often richly humorous look at the impact of changing family fortunes on financial and emotional well-being is anything but poor itself.

Possessing vivid dialogue, “Broke-ology” champions personal commitment and brotherly love as well as respect for the wisdom and worth of one’s parents.