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Old February 22 2014, 06:46 PM   #65
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Re: Is Avery Brooks a good actor?

Plomeek Broth wrote: View Post
I have seen DS9 in it's entirety but wanted to get a feel of what other Niners think.

Good actors abound on this show with Shimmerman, Robinson, Alaimo, Aberjunois (I know I misspelled it), etc. Kai Winn too.

It's my favorite show but not my favorite captain.

It always seemed to me like he delivered his lines in a very heavy handed, hammed up, over the top way. You get used to it after awhile but it can be jarring if you haven't seen it in awhile.

Do you find Brooks hit it out of the park with his acting chops or left something to be desired?

Just wanted to see if I'm in the minority on this one or there are others who felt the same way.
I think the difference between your thread title and your questions is interesting

Definitely, Avery Brooks was a good actor. Whether his best acting was in DS9, that is a question to be asked. Have you seen American History X? Also, consider his stage career. This is his career description on his wiki article:

Brooks received critical acclaim in Phillip Hayes Dean's play Paul Robeson. Brooks portrayed the life of the famous singer, actor, and civil rights activist in a one-man, critically acclaimed biographical drama. He has performed the role since 1982 at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Longacre Theater on Broadway. He also portrayed Robeson in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?, both on and Off-Broadway.

Brooks' early theater credits include The Offering, A PHOTOGRAPH: A Study of Cruelty, and Are You Now or Have You Ever Been in the 1970s. He started to gain recognition after his appearance in Spell #7 at the Public/Anspache Theater in New York City in 1979. He subsequently starred in Othello at the Folger Shakespeare Festival (1985) and Fences at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Missouri (1990). He reprised the role of Othello at the Washington Shakespeare Theater in 1990-1991.
Brooks appeared in the title role of The Oedipus Plays, a production that traveled to the 2003 Athens Festival in Greece. He also appeared in the title role of King Lear at Yale's Repertory Theatre. In 2005, Brooks again starred as Othello, this time at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in a production directed by the renowned Michael Kahn. Brooks was one of 15 actors of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington to be honored with the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre in 2007. He returned to the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Fall 2007 to play the title role in Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine.

In 2008, Brooks returned to Oberlin College to play the lead in a mixed-race production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Once again, Avery played the title role of Paul Robeson at the Shakespeare Theater from March 24–27 in 2011.
None of these are easy roles, but his career success on the stage infers that in the eyes of his peers and critics that Brooks certainly is a good actor, whether judged by the roles he has been asked to play or his acclamations such as Shakespeare Award.

As for your actual questions about Brooks in the show. I loved his work, for many reasons. When in Treklit set after the series Sisko is described for his presence or his depressions or his charisma (as in Prophecy and Change, or Warpath, for example), these aren't inventions of the authors writing up something Brooks as a performer never conveyed. Rather they are genuine reflections, for me, of the skill and gravitas and versimilitude Brooks brought to the role. I do think I am a very biased responder to Brooks - I grew up watching DS9, and forgive many of its failings when perhaps I should be more critical. However, I think with regards to Brooks I am not overlooking anything - at least, I hope not. But I don't know.
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