Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: Lydia Diamond's "Stick Fly," Mahogany Theater Ensemble, East Bank Theater, Bossier City

Angelique Feaster, actress/producer of Mahogany Ensemble Theater, and Robert Alford, director at LSUS, are bringing their audiences a steady stream of comedies and dramas that meditate on the African-American experience.

Their presentation of Lydia Diamond's drama on class and race, Stick Fly, on Fri, Aug 9, was stimulating and engrossing. Dialogue and body language was delivered in a meditative flow over a 3 hour span.

Anchored by the gravitas of Sy Richardson, a Californian known for his work in feature films (Repo Man, Mystery Train, Dead Man Walking, and almost 100 more), the cast included 3 relatively new actors to the East Bank stage.

Kandace Grey was promising - terrific shy smile and low key gestures - as the youngest of the brood.

Kermit Burns also had an effectively quiet approach to his role of the maligned son.

The role of the favored son was played by the animated Jonathan D Jackson with controlled exultation. His moods and turns of mind were easy to follow as they were played out in his prowling, gesture-filled style.

Bringing the veteran's touch to the ensemble was the well-modulated voice and presence of Angelique Feaster.

Audra Caitlyn Moss, a veteran of stage, of the web TV series Haints (in its 3rd season) and of movies and dance (Bon Temps Burlesque), added a female gravitas, fitting herself smoothly to the ensemble effort.

Director Alford has been following the work of playwright Diamond for several years. This pungent story, performed on Broadway in 2011, has only recently been released for use in community theaters, he said.

Performance lovers in NW Louisiana will find much to value in the growth and stimulation found at both as well as LSUS Black Box Theater, Alford's home court.

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