Sunday early evening.
I arrived quite early for the show since I was concerned about the parking sitch–usually a hassle in WEHO. I was pleasantly surprised to find a space in the lot right out front. We were definitely off to a good start. Showtime was at 6 pm and I had wanted to allow for time to park and hot foot it back to the theater to find seats. With parking being so easy I was “on-time on time”, and after speaking to the girls/hosts at the front who were clearly not ready for guests (by self admission) I was told they would not begin seating until 5:45pm. It was only 5:20 so I went back to my car to wait it out and play a game of Candy Crush or two. While I waited I also decided to look at the reviews for the venue. The Actors Company has terrible yelp reviews! Most of which are from local actors that have participated in some of their workshops. The reviews for the theater spaces were lacking, but the pictures were a little disheartening. This was my first all black production in LA, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’ve seen the movie adaptation (I’m basic) and knew the general premise of the play and was excited to check it out.
The Play and Cast
The lights dim as ten silhouettes maneuver onto the stage with a solo songstress singing a mellow tune.
The Play was heartwarming (heart wrenching) at times. It had been long enough since I’d seen the movie that I was surprised by certain elements. I had forgotten that it was based on a poem or a collection of and was heralded by an all female, all melanated cast of varying tones, shapes and ages. One of my friends who I attended with was “refreshed” by the diversity and inclusion of “real folks”. There were no sets, backdrops, props or need for them in my opinion. This really heightened my focus on what was… The vibrance of the casts’ dresses, the interaction between them as they glided on stage and the poetry! Listening to the actors recite the poetry with such strong and moving emotion had me completely in tune. I wasn’t the only one, as one character told her “story” often times the others would gather round to listen in as well. Often providing words of encouragement and at times tears of sympathy.
The Theater was so much better than I expected! Especially after seeing the pics posted on yelp/google which must’ve been from one of the smaller spaces. This theater sat probably about 50 people, in tiered seating. I sat in the 4th row middle and seeing was no issue. More theaters should space their seats like these. Ladies don’t be afraid to wear your highest puff at this venue!
The seats were cushy, but with not a lot of space to move about during the show-the seating started right at the base
of the stage. Not really an issue except for a few latecomers, but everyone was polite and at least attempted to be discreet. The only issue here, the entrance to the theater was only covered by a curtain which led directly to the outside, which meant we heard the lovely Los Angeles streets in the background but the bigger issue was the chatter that most of us couldn’t stop hearing for about 20 minutes of the show. I don’t like to rock the boat and thankfully I didn’t have to because another older woman led the way to hush up the offenders who were ta-hee-heeing right outside the curtain! I don’t know who she was but bless her kind soul as she definitely saved the show!
Overall these ladies put on a wonderful show and I was not disappointed. I’m excited to hear and see more from each of the artists who acted, directed, sang and danced the hour and half away!
Directed by: Tiffany Raelynn Eberhardt
Choreography: Zakiya Bradford
Musical Direction: Laura Altenor
Laura Altenor @ellore_la
Tiffany Carlice @theaterismylife2
Eryn Barnes @0_0erynbarnes
Zakiyah Bradford @kiyahbee83
Tiffany RaeLynn @mycurvesnla
Kimberly Roberson @itskimbo_duh
Jenae Thompson @jenae_sayquoi
Sierra N. Smith @sierrasmith_
Korra Obidi @korraobidi