A Fairytale in the Hood

Sent shivers since 1969

Fuck wine and baby quiche. When I go to a play, I want some hot wings and I want drink specials on Hennessey. Walking into the James L. Knight Center last night, I thought: I smell wings. Check. And at the bar — er, folding tables — Henny on ice, $10. Check. So for me, Love in the Nick of Tyme was the play with all the right accessories. All that was left for it to do was entertain me, keep me from texting somebody (my middle name is Textas Toast) and keep me and my MJ jeans in my seat. Let's just say it delivered.

The play was a love story, a tale with a happy ending; glass stiletto, long kiss and all. And as one of the characters, played by Ellia English — "Aunt Helen" on the now-rerunning Jamie Foxx Show — said, "It's hard to find a fairytale in the hood." The show starred Morris Chestnut — a man who has sent shivers up every black woman's spine at least once. In the play, he was Marcellus, a smooth talking hunk of chocolate with a slick tongue and even slicker heart. He was the guy that a woman can't help but love -- and hate. And when he delivered on the promise he made me during our interview -- "Yeah, I do take my shirt off..." -- the crowd erupted in shrieks and gasps, pants and moans; promptly abandoning their contempt for his character's two-timing ways. But, I digress.

This play was good for the body and soul, with heart-wrenching vocal performances from American Idol-alum Trenyce and R&B stud Avant (he got the crowd panting too), and a story that gripped you with comedy, love and pain. It was emotional on so many levels, and with music from an orchestra that burned like they were on fire, the play was a full-body experience. The story touched my heart, the music made me bob my head, and Morris, well let's just say his performance touched me too....

-Raina McLeod

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Frank Houston

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