Thursday, June 24, 2010

Philly Weekly: BLACK PEARL SINGS! is "Compelling" & "High Caliber"

J. Cooper Robb raves about BLACK PEARL SINGS! in this week's Philadelphia Weekly! Check out these excerpts:

Black Pearl Sings

By J. Cooper Robb
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Ownership of culture is at the heart of Frank Higgins’ Black Pearl Sings, a compelling drama in a thoughtful production from InterAct Theater Company. Higgins’ play, inspired by the real-life association between musicologist John Lomax and singer/guitarist Leadbelly, focuses on the relationship between two disparate women in Depression-era America.

... Susannah is likeable but naive, at one point announcing that she is an “expert in oppressed people.” While she’s clearly not a bigot, questions of whether she’s particularly qualified to be a curator of African-American culture lie close to the heart of the play.

... Wright has considerable musical-theater experience belied by the singing style she uses in her performance as Pearl. Sounding like a woman who needs to sing rather than a woman trained to sing, Wright’s vocals are soulful, painful, joyful and spiritual.

... The costuming choices, sound design and high caliber of acting are reflective of the care given to all elements of Rozin’s meticulously mounted production. In a play that could be one-sided (the role of Pearl clearly being the meatier and flashier of the two leads) this is an evenhanded affair that leaves us questioning whether an outsider can ever “present” another culture accurately and with empathy.

Links to more information about BLACK PEARL SINGS!:

Read J. Cooper Robb's Full Philadelphia Weekly Review

Purchase Tickets Now

Read Kimberly Roberts' Philadelphia Tribune Review

Read Wendy Rosenfield's Philadelphia Inquirer Review

Listen to Music Featured in BLACK PEARL SINGS!

Play Description, Artist Bios & Performance Calendar

An Interview with Playwright Frank Higgins

Watch a video trailer of BLACK PEARL SINGS! at Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.

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