Jah is a joy to watch as she moves effortlessly from the puckishness of taunting Boesman to the pathos of comforting the old man to the friskiness of the improvised dance Lena breaks into when she needs to rally her spirits. Ngaujah is given a more limited palette to work with but he digs deep, revealing the intense sadness of a man so crushed by racism that the only relief he can find is to lash out at others.
Some people I know have harrumphed that her approach is too unrelentingly grim but I think it perfectly captures the anguish that millions of refugees around the world continue to experience and to salute the resolve that allows them to persevere.
“So what happened at the end?” she asked me as we walked down the block to the venerable West Bank Cafe for a quick post-show dinner. I started to tell her and then realized I’d already forgotten. Which kind of breaks my heart since remembering Vera is the whole point of the piece.