Strange bedfellows make for compelling stories, and there’s still time to catch a new show in the North Bay that explores a particularly unusual friendship fostered amidst the racial turmoil of the 1960s. Marin Theatre Company — the North Bay’s most consistently rewarding theater group — presents the West Coast premiere of San Francisco-raised playwright Will Power’s new play Fetch Clay, Make Man, which examines the unexpected but historically based camaraderie between Muhammad Ali and Stepin Fetchit, whose 1930s film persona became synonymous with racial stereotyping. Directed by Derrick Saunders, a newcomer to the area who turned heads with August Wilson’s Fences at MTC in the spring, the script recalls the freer, more undefined roles in the civil rights era, when a black firebrand like Ali (Eddie Ray Jackson) could befriend a dubious celebrity like Fetchit — played here by Roscoe Gorman, beloved for his role as Gordon on Sesame Street.

Around the Neighborhood: Dinner beforehand at either Sol Food or Joe’s Taco Lounge, both within close walking distance, is very recommended; for cheap drinks and local flavor, check in at Mill Valley’s famed 2am Club, right across the street.

When the Civil Rights Fighter Met the Caricature 29 September,2014Gabe Meline


Gabe Meline

Gabe Meline is KQED Arts’ Senior Editor. He lives with his wife, his daughter, a 1964 Volvo and too many records in his hometown of Santa Rosa, CA. Find him on Twitter at @gmeline.

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