Review: Sunset Baby

8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Celebration Arts Theatre, 4469 D Street; (916) 455-2787; Through November 6.
Rated 4.0

The story, characters and language of Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby are raw, realistic and unsettling—as expected for a play about a former black revolutionary recently released from jail and trying to re-establish a relationship with his streetwise and street-working daughter.

The story explores some of the darker struggles and relationship remnants left behind by those intensely involved in a social revolution.

When Kenyatta (Andre Ramey) reaches out to daughter Nina (Brooklynn Solomon) after his release from prison to request letters her mother left her, his daughter is wary and resentful of her mostly absent father. She’s done the best she can with her limitations, relying on her sass, street smarts and partner-in-crime-and-in-life boyfriend Damon (Tory Scroggins).

This Celebration Arts’ powerful production captures the explosive dynamics of Nina’s passions and relationships—especially when Solomon and Scroggins are onstage. This talented duo is electrifying, thoroughly believable and utterly captivating either singularly or even more so, as a duo.

And an added plus are the wonderful Nina Simone song snippets throughout the production. The theater company cautions that this production is recommended for ages 18 and above.