The rhetoric of race gets a swift kick in Rogue Machine's 'Honky'

Los Angeles Times 

That's a lesson the snappy, irreverent "Honky" at the MET Theatre takes very much to heart with its opening hip-hop jingle for a trendy brand of sneakers: "When ghetto's in your sole / And it's kinda like'The Wire' on HBO / Reach for the Sky!" An equal opportunity satire for our ad-driven society, this sharply written, smartly performed Rogue Machine production deftly skewers PC platitudes and self-delusions on both sides of the black-white racial divide. Playwright Greg Kalleres' insightful takedown is set amid exploitative consumerism, as an inner-city shooting over a coveted pair of Sky ballers sparks the brand's surging "street cred" among suburban white mall rats. The shoes' designer, Thomas (Burl Moseley), is horrified when the newly hired CEO (Bruce Nozick) announces plans to leverage the tragedy for market expansion into a new demographic, thereby co-opting and diluting the company's focus on urban (read: black) youth apparel. Where a lesser play might predictably settle for black-and-white arguments, "Honky" opts for richer psychological territory: The play's five principal characters grapple with internal conflicts about their own racial identity.

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