You won't see many moments like that one on a stage. Nor are you likely to ever again hear the voice of a work-worn old slave, Simon, intoning the Kiddush and recounting the Exodus. For the de Leons' religious affiliations were passed along to their slaves as totally as were those of Christian slave owners, and The Whipping Man is set at the beginning of Passover. When Simon recounts the Exodus during the slaves' Seder, you know it counts for something. In his cracked and broken voice is the sound of more than celebration: There is the sound of understanding, of communion between actor and character and script and the ancient text it contains.
The Whipping Man is a wonderful play for this single scene and for a dozen others. See it and feel rare things. And when the specific effects of this play wear off, take a few seconds to marvel at the happy fact that in Boca Raton, at the Caldwell's grand digs, a powerful voice in South Florida theater is just beginning to clear his throat.