Amy M. Frateo reviews ATA’s Divine Assignment
Kenthedo Robinson’s murder mystery, The Divine Assignment, has great potential. Strong premise, overall fine acting, and a solid ending, but there needed to be more depth and consistency to the dialogue. Any whodunit must have clear characters and a perfectly straight line of plot. If your audience is confused about what’s happening or doesn’t understand the whys and wherefores, the whodunit becomes a whydidtheydothat? There were internal moments when key characters would change emotion too quickly or behave in a manner that was questionable. Supporting the decisions, it can be said that maybe this was the electricity of high emotion or a bit of gallows humor or even a red herring to lead — or mislead — us. But, again, if the who becomes a what or why… Ironically, the final reveal was deftly played. This gives us the interpretation that Mr. Robinson wrote a perfect outline for this work but must connect the dots stronger.
Segrick Furbert, Laurie Avant, and Tim Walsh gave-in fine performances. Each had a level of understatement that lured the audience into the story.
Workshop productions seen across off-off Broadway are meant to be bumpy. It creates the perfect focus group for the work. In this case, Mr. Robinson should have had a longer rehearsal period to iron out – or in – the plot and execution. Oops, maybe execution is the wrong word for a murder mystery.