Robert Gossett

Review: 'The Royale' punches well but has character issues

Review: 'The Royale' punches well but has character issues

Stepping into the ring with Jack Johnson, otherwise known as the "Galveston Giant," was as much an invitation to conversation as a guarantee of a beating. He'd banter with his opponents, teasing them about their fate, before knocking them out when the chat began to bore him.

"The Great White Hope," Howard Sackler's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander, focused on the struggles Johnson faced after becoming the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. "The Royale," Marco Ramirez's percussively staged study of the boxer, concerns itself with the difficulties Johnson encountered on his way to the...

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