Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #88

Contents

ODLE PLAY AMONG SIX ABOUT LOVE

KAMI RUSHELL SMITH IS A 10 IN “NINE”

SECRET GARDEN IS MAGICAL AT WHEELOCK

KIRSTEN GREENIDGE TALKS ABOUT WRITING

WHERE ARE THEY NOW………

HONORING THE LIFE OF JAMES SPRUILL

LIVING LEDGENDS – MUSEUM OF AA HISTORY

LILLY’S PURPLE PURSE

SEEING IT LEE’S WAY AT HIBERNIAN HALL

WHEN MAHALIA SINGS

BLACK HISTORY AT BOSTON CITY HALL

558 MASS AVE CELEBRATES BLACK ART – SUN.


ODLE PLAY AMONG SIX ABOUT LOVE

515b87985dfc3bed3e40cc67bc90a6f1.99.124 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #88(pictured: Kaili Turner)

“How do I love you?” the 19th century poet responded famously. “Let me count the ways.” Six local playwrights came up with imaginative variations on the theme of love Elizabeth Barrett Browning so movingly probed long ago. The result was an afternoon of theater that amply demonstrated love’s highways and byways is a topic that’s arrived safely into the 21st. Some of the one-acts were hilarious, others disturbing. Every one of them got you to thinking about the intricacies of the hearts of men and women.

Clifford Odle had a dandy whose premise is, as they say, ripped right from the headlines. “Our Girl In Trenton” juxtapoised a newly elected black mayor waxing importantly about the high ethics of her campaign while back at the office two of her workers find that his marriage is no impediment to their embraces. Sonya Joyner was suitably smug as the newly elected black official while Kaili Turner smilingly followed where her desires took her with a shy but willing Marc Harpin.

On the more worrisome side Lyralen Kaye took a serious look at what happens to a pair of lovers who met at alcohol and drug recovery meetings in “Rescue.” In her well written piece that moved along in real time, the lithe Julia Short as Sunny and the muscular Joan Mejia as Jake found that physicality was the least important connective point to a happy relationship.

Yet another play looked at a confession of gay impulses between two boys from Southie that reached its apotheosis at the Broadway T stop as strobe lights flashed with a pronounced disco throb. The exceedingly well written “Birdbaths, ‘Twilight,’ And Other Sundry Topics” from Rick Park was a treat with actors Derek Fraser and Bryan Hoy matching Park’s writing with wit and panache.

Another Country Productions (named after the novel by James Baldwin) showed with this staging at Boston Playwrights Theater, Feb. 3-5, that they truly believe in their mission to offer diverse, innovative, and multicultural work. The other playwrights on the bill were Mark Harvey Levine, Ginger Lazarus, and Alison Potoma. Take note of all these names so that when you see them next, you’ll head to their shows.

By Kay Bourne


KAMI RUSHELL SMITH IS A 10 IN “NINE”

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Whether dressed in a slave’s tattered rags or an elegant gown right out of Italian “Vogue”, Kami Rushell Smith has that “wow” factor. But she’s more than a pretty face. Smith fills those clothes with real people.

“When I first look at a character,” said the actress currently in SpeakEasy’s production of “NINE,” “I find the humanity. I find out what’s different about this character than myself and also what’s similar. What makes this character tick.”

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