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A Satisfied Mind
a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Jai Anthony-Lewis Husband

COMPANY : Class Act Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Class Act Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 1398

SHOWING : October 14, 2005 - November 06, 2005

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"A Satisfied Mind" is being held-over at Class Act Theatre for an extended run. It's a fun frolic of laughter, music, and inspiration, written and directed by Atlanta's own Jai Anthony-Lewis Husband.


CAST & CREW LIST
Writer/Composer Jai Husband
Director Jai Husband
Crew Chris Fall
Teta Vickers Candice Afia
Ethan Jackson Kyre Batiste
Burglar Jamal Brown
Harriet Jones Barbara Bruce
Eva Bailey Bartyce Colbert
Elly Mae Waters Rona Dana
Luther Heeley Jerome Davis
Luther Heeley Jai Husband
Beemish McCray Atiba Mwangi
Pastor Mack Kevin Pierce
Teta Vickers Cheryl Rookwood
Elly Mae Waters Candice A. Smith
Teta Vickers Candice A. Smith
Gracie Smith Traci Stafford
LeRoy Avery Nykki L Starr
Lisa-Ann Waters Marah Williams
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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GEE-NEE-USSS!
by thatsFillarius
Monday, October 31, 2005
5.0
A Finger Snapping Crowd Pleaser

I had the chance to catch A Satisfied Mind this past Saturday at Class Act Theatre, and I need to confess from the outset of this critique that words cannot even begin to express my profound respect for the playwright, awe at the talented cast, or euphoria at having experienced this stellar production. Once again, Jai Husband and the folks at Class Act Theatre are proving that the only difference between community theatre and professional theatre is smaller budgets, and that the actors do it for the love of their craft instead of being paid a living wage for it. I have seen professional theatre from L.A. to New York and it was hard to believe I wasn’t sitting in a Broadway show on Saturday. This amazing cast ripped through one of the funniest plays I have ever seen, with the pace and comedic timing of the sharpest sit-com.

Kudos and accolades must first be showered upon Rona Dana. I always wonder how Mr. Husband finds some of the actors he springs on us in his plays, because they’re so amazing that you wonder why you haven’t heard of them before! Ms. Dana’s execution of the lead, Elly Mae Waters was flawless…let me repeat, FLAWLESS! (one needs to snap his or her fingers in a decending Z motion to garner the correct emphasis I’m looking for here.) Not only did this woman rattle off some of the most copious amounts of dialogue I’ve heard outside of Shakespeare without missing a beat or seemingly taking a breath, her hilarious caricature of black charismatic holiness women was dead-on perfect. She had me and the audience shouting and saying “amen” with her, and LORD, when she got worked up and the fast church music came out of nowhere, I thought I was going to die from laughter. I wish I could decide which was the funniest scene in the show. Between the burglar scene, the scene where she was casting “sickness demons” out of the other two maids, the kitchen baptism, or the scene where she was preaching the blues singer back to her church roots, it’s a miracle that I made it out of the theatre with clean drawls on. This show is hilarious.

One side note, I could kill Mr. Husband for teasing us so badly with Bartyce Colbert’s voice. Ms. Colbert (who played Simone Lewis in Mr. Husband’s Crimson Stain earlier this year) started to sing the church hymn, Couldn’t Keep it to Myself, and I thought I would jump out of my skin. Y’all, take note of this woman and mark my words—SHE IS GOING TO BE FAMOUS…let me repeat, FAMOUS! (snap your fingers again.) She was doing her best to slay all of us with that amazing voice of hers, singing this song like Jesus was coming back tomorrow, and right when it got good, Mr. Avery (played excellently by Nykki Lamarr) came through the back door of the kitchen and the ladies all shut their mouths and hopped into chairs as if to pretend nothing was going on. It made for a highly comical moment, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t cursing the director under my breath for not letting that number go on for just a little while longer.

That scene was actually quite endemic of the entire play. An exciting build-up of emotion and frenzied experience that would get the audience riled up with laughter and shouting, and then cascade into some poignant bit of sobriety that kind of caught you off guard. It was a bit like an actual charismatic church service, and I don’t mean that it was preachy. Actually, all of Ms. Elly’s sermonizing was done so well, my little heathen behind didn’t feel the least bit proselytized when it was all over. I mean, there was a very interesting message behind all of the fun once we got down to the very last scene (the kind of last minute revelation that Mr. Husband is proving to be a master of ), but even amidst all the tension between the two main characters and the exaggerated, over-the-top characters like the spoiled brat accountant played by Jerome Davis or the nosy-neighbor played by Rene Voige (who integrated extremely well into the otherwise all African-American cast in a way that I found funny, interesting and believable), even amidst all the slap-stick revelry I found myself constantly feeling that what was going on was very important. And that’s exactly how I felt when leaving the theatre. I felt like I had been a part of something significant and great, from the acting to the words. I dare to say I wasn’t the only one with the warm fuzzies after the curtain call. Everyone in the audience was smiling and chattering about which was their favorite scene or how amazing the performances was, and some of the more emotional types were dabbing tears solicited by Rona Dana and Nykki Lamarr’s riveting final scene together (won’t ruin it for those who have yet to see it in its final weekend, but it’s quite an emotional sucker punch after almost two hours of non-stop laughter!). I can only bow and take my hat off to Mr. Husband for having (pardon the cliché) done it again. By the way, Mr. Husband makes a cameo appearance in his own work as the apologetic pastor who pays a house call to smooth over a bad impression made on the rich banker in his mercy visit to Elly’s church (which Mr. Avery hysterically calls, “The Wringling Brothers Baptist Church!” GENIUS…GEE-NEE-USSS! Snap those fingers one more time!)

Fillarius A. Mann
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