Theatre in the X’s ‘Running Numbers’ is amazing; two shows left

August 7, 2017

Photos West Philly Local.

Theatre in the X last night staged the premiere of Running Numbers, the tale of a graduating high school senior trying to navigate his way through obstacles in his neighborhood and his family to get his way into college and, just as importantly, pay for it.

In our decidedly unsophisticated opinion, it is really, really good.

The play follows CJ, a brilliant student, as he tries to figure out how he is going to pay for a Penn education. He could get student loans, but his mom doesn’t want to sign the forms (she wants to hide her under-the-table earnings) nor does she want him saddled in debt for the rest of his life. Or, he could go work for the local pimp and drug dealer and make fast cash. Both options weigh heavily on CJ, but he takes the second option and we find him in the opening scene undergoing police interrogation after his arrest. 

CJ’s life and dilemma unfold before us during the interrogation – his mom’s drinking, his sister’s flirtation with street life, his teacher’s insistence that he go to college, and his own conscience. It’s a tale that is as tragic as it is common.

Seriously, go see it.

There are two more shows left – August 13 and 20 at 5 p.m. in Malcolm X Park (51st and Pine). Bring a chair to make sure you get a seat. Also, there is some rough language and themes – something to consider if you want to bring little ones.

As always, the performance is free and no tickets are required, which is all part of Theatre in the X’s mission to bring “people of West Philadelphia and the African American community at large the opportunity to see professional quality theatre in their own neighborhood for no cost.”




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