17 Apr Review: A Song For Coretta
Review by Beki Pineda:
Two women waiting outside a church begin to talk and discover that they have things in common. Helen Richards (Lisa Young) is revisiting a woman she met as a child. Zora Evans (Davida A. Terrell) is trying to get a gig with NPR and is there to do interviews with the waiting people. They are joined by street artist, Mona Lisa Martin (Josephine Lemon-Lett) who is a Katrina survivor. Next comes Keisha Cameron (Ilasiea Gray), a saucy teenager pushing her faux baby in a stroller, foreshadowing her reason for being there. The last arrival is a quiet guarded female soldier, Gwendolyn Johnson (ShaShauna Staton). They have all gathered outside the Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay homage to recently deceased Civil Rights leader Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The conversations reveal each woman’s connection to Mrs. King and moves along leisurely until Keisha arrives. An unlikely candidate for being in this line, she startles with her reason for being there. This is followed by a dialogue duet between the street artist and the Afghanistan-bound soldier. In a touching back-and-forth, they tell their horrific tales of survival.
This would be a powerful evening even without the occasion for the gathering, but each woman’s emotional connection to Mrs. King pulls the whole piece together. The individual performances are strong; as an ensemble, they shine!
A WOW Factor of 8!