True events inspired the Pasadena Playhouse’s newest play, “Fly.”
It centers around the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War ll. The play begins with the airmen’s training, and follows them through the war, ending in the present day when they were honored by United States President Barack Obama.
“Fly” runs from Jan. 26 to Feb. 21 at the Pasadena Playhouse. The cast features Brooks Brantly, Ross Cowan, Omar Edwards, Anthony J. Goes, Brandon Nagle, Desmond Newson, Damian Thompson and Terrell Wheeler.
Goes, who plays Captain O’ Hurley, puts the airmen through their training. O’ Hurley can come off as the villain at times because he wanted to be flying, but for some reason was denied that opportunity.
Now O’ Hurley is bitter because he feels he is doing a disservice to the military by putting people up in the air that are not qualified, Goes said. He covers it up by treating his men horribly, which is why he is seen as a villain.
Goes said he feels privileged to portray O’ Hurley, but to act as this person takes real trust between the cast to know he doesn’t mean any of the rude things he says.
One of his favorite scenes is when O’ Hurley takes the airmen up in the air for the first time. It’s a very playful scene because everything is a little erratic.
The real Tuskegee airman came to visit the cast one day during rehearsals and the cast got their own flying lessons sitting on chairs pretending to turn and maneuver in the air. “To see history walk through the door and hear their story is incredible,” Goes said, stating it adds weight to the performance. “It puts it in perspective. We’re sharing their life with those who can attend.”
The takeaway is more than just a history lesson, Goes added. It is a play about hope and dreams.
“It’s about going after what you want in life,” he said.
For tickets or more information, call 626-356-7529 or visit pasadenaplahouse.org. Tickets start at $25.