Broadway Review: ‘American Son’ Starring Kerry Washington

It’s four a.m. on a dark and rainy morning in playwright Christopher Demos-Brown’s gripping play, “American Son,” and Kendra Ellis-Connor (Kerry Washington) and Scott Connor (Scott Pasquale), estranged for the past four months, meet in a Miami police station under nervewracking conditions. Their son and some of his friends have had an unexplained run-in with the highway police — and this bad news is all the more worrying for being so vague.

Kendra and Scott are no ordinary couple, and their kid is no ordinary kid. She teaches psychology and he’s an FBI agent who conspicuously wears his shield on his belt. They sent their 18-year-old son, Jamal, to the very best schools — his prep school graduation present was the very car that got him into trouble — and he’s about to enter West Point. But at the moment, Jamal is not answering the quickly mounting messages on his cell phone and his parents are frantic.

Kendra is first on the scene and her anxiety is writ large on Washington’s delicate but expressive face as she paces in the public waiting room of the precinct house.  Director Kenny Leon has assembled a solid creative workforce for this moody play, and the setting is a cold and heartless place in Derek McLane’s design.

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