Review: Main Street Players’ “Black Sheep” is baffling but never dull

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Thursday, August 4, 2022

     The plot of the current Main Street Players’ production will have you wondering what is real and what is a dream – though at times it feels like a nightmare. 

     The cast tackles Lee Blessing’s “Black Sheep,” under the direction of Brandon Urrutia, a play told in one act and 21 scenes. 

     “Black Sheep” tells the story of Carl, recently released from prison and played by Kyran Wright. He moves in with his aunt Serene, played by Jennifer Leah, and his uncle Nelson, acted by Michael Vadnal

     Urrutia said that audiences should come with an open mind and be ready to laugh. 

     The cast is rounded out by Serene and Nelson’s son Max played by Anthony Wolff and his girlfriend Elle, performed by Lucy Lopez

      Carl is the focus of the show and Wright doesn’t leave the stage for almost the entire 90 minutes of the show.  

     Wright portrays the confusion that the audience may be feeling through his facial expressions, so keep an eye on him. 

     Nelson first tells Carl “they shouldn’t have tried you an adult,” which makes the audience wonder what happened.  

     It isn’t until about four scenes in that we find out Carl accidentally shot and killed his white half-brother after a tussle when they were kids. 

     Wright delivers a monologue with a lot of raw emotion that really makes the audience feel for the Carl character.  

     Throughout the show, Wright is both lighthearted and serious with his portrayal of Carl. He feels real and three-dimensional, compared to the other characters who are drawn as caricatures of self-centered, wealthy people. 

     The show has underlying themes of racism, money and class division. 

     The family is very chaotic, which makes the viewer wonder if they’re like this or if we’re experiencing this through Carl’s eyes.

     Vadnal’s Nelson is eccentric and almost disconnected. His world revolves around his goings on and what he hopes to use Carl for: The murders of Serene and Max. 

     Vadnal has excellent delivery and his character’s memory loss during one scene it well acted and as confusing for the audience as it is for his character. 

     Leah’s portrayal of Serene is just as eccentric as Vadnal’s Nelson. 

     Her lines are delivered in a friendly tone which carry a feeling of malice beneath the surface. 

     Like Nelson, Serene wants to murder her own son, but why stop there? She wants her husband Nelson gone too.

     The couple want an inheritance to go to Carl instead of their son Max or each other.  

     Meanwhile Wolff as Max is everything you expect from a spoiled rich kid who has never had to struggle a day in his life. 

     As you get to know Max, you realize why the other characters, including Elle his girlfriend, would rather he was knocked off, too. 

     Lopez’s portrayal of Elle is one that is very much in line with a young woman who cares only about her looks and money. Lopez is fun, she is light-hearted but with a sharp edge. 

     At the end the show takes a strange turn, leaving the audience to decide whether what they have seen is real or a fantasy. 

     “Black Sheep” runs through Aug. 14 at the Main Street Playhouse, 6812 Main St. Tickets are $25 - $30. Visit