But "Ishi" is a remarkably ambitious, often gripping piece. Michael Vega is magnetic in the title role. Kevin Clarke and Jeanette Harrison engagingly depict the intense peer-romance between Alfred and the tubercular Henrietta, with Pamela Davis injecting some sharp feminism as her suffragist sister. Matt Weimer is congenially disturbing as the empathetic doctor determined to dissect Ishi's brain. Aaron Martinsen, Jean Franco Pilas, Detroit George Dunwood, Linda Wang and Jorge Martinez turn in capable work in the large, uneven cast.
For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.