Didn't intend to be sitting down and writing about a couple of plays this morning. It's election day. I've got to get to the polls and I've got to make sure that the LA Progressive website doesn't crash on this, our most high traffic day of the year.
I'll handle those things but first I felt compelled to tell you about an experience I had last night.
My husband, Dick, and I attended a preview of a couple of plays we were invited to attend. Had it not been for the invitation, it's unlikely we would have known about these plays. We don't always accept invitations because we're just too busy but for whatever reason, we accepted this one and boy am I glad we did.
Written and directed by Lucky Mor, the plays are “Still. . .4:44 “ - a dramedy about four brothers coming to terms with the recent loss of their mother and "F#@k I Love You," which also deals with the relationship of two brothers dealing with the loss of their grandmother.
My personal favorite was “Still. . .4:44”. The play, inspired by Jay-A'z video 4:44, is the story of four brothers masterfully played by Lucky Mor as Christopher, Thai Edwards as LaVon, Maceo Fisher as Manchester, and Kevyn Richmond as Scoop, who are brought together because of the death of their mother.
The story, set in Detroit, is framed around discussions of how to distribute the estate (what appears to be a modest single family home) left by their mother. But what is apparent early are issues of sibling rivalry, personal insecurities, envy, shame, loneliness—but ultimately a deep, abiding love for each other and for the parents they all grieve for, parents who were together for more than fifty years in the very home where the play takes place.
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To be clear—I loved this play!! It is well written, superbly acted, funny, heart-warming and entirely believable. Frankly, each of the four brothers reminds me of someone in my own family. Which is one of the many reasons this play works—the language is natural and the humor doesn't seem staged. The story touches on our current socio-political climate but doesn't get too bogged down in it. The musical selections add just the right tone.
But for me, the single most compelling reason to see this play, aside from it being well written and well acted, is that it is the story of four black men and no one is in jail, no one is in a gang, no one is being shot, no one is dealing drugs. You won't see the hyper-masculinity that has come to be associated with black male characters—no, not in this play and maybe that is why I walked away feeling so good.
I highly recommend "Still...4:44" and will be sending a couple of my family members on Sunday. Performed at The Complex Hollywood Dorie Theatre at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood – a small theater on a stretch of Santa Monica Blvd. that has become the equivalent of New York's Off-Broadway, “Still...4:44” Performances are Thursday, June 7th at 8:30 p.m., Sunday June 10th at 2:30 p.m., Friday, June 15th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 16th at 1:30 p.m., and Friday, June 22nd at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and information, go here.
Dick reviewed the companion play, "F#@k I Love You" here.
Publisher, Hollywood Progressive