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Flyin' West

a Drama
by Pearl Cleage

COMPANY : Lionheart Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Norcross Community and Cultural Arts Center
ID# 3625

SHOWING : February 12, 2010 - February 21, 2010



The critically acclaimed drama which tells the story of a courageous group of pioneer women - former slaves who settled in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas. With its gripping plot and richly drawn characters, this is an unforgettable play.

Director Tanya Carroll
Assistant Director James Connor
Light Board Operator James Beck
Props Chris Brooks
Props Glory Hanna
Sound Operator Robert Peterson
Costumes Belle Terziev
Lighting Design Gary L White
Minnie Embri Ocha Barley
Sophie Kimberly Ginyard
Will Kirk D. Henny
Fannie Nicole Jackson
Leah Sharan Mansfield
Frank Nadir Mateen
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Long Flight
by playgoer
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pearl Cleage's "Flyin' West" is a strong, entertaining play with some wonderful curtain moments. Unfortunately, these moments come before the ends of both acts. The image of the sisters Sophie, Fannie, and Minnie performing the "ritual" of saying farewell to Memphis is a memorable picture and feels like the end of act one. It isn't. In act two, the audience erupts in applause at the image of Minnie retrieving a deed from her husband, but the play has another scene before it's done. This is a long play, and the pace (and long scene changes) do not minimize this length.

That said, the performances are all good. Nadir Mateen, as the mulatto Frank, gives a powerful performance, bringing out all the unpleasantness and complexity of a slave-owner's illegimate, beloved son. Embri Ocha Barley, who plays his young wife Minnie, mingles timidity with love and ruefulness in a touching performance. Nicole Littlejohn Jackson, as Fannie, is endearing throughout, allowing the audience's sympathies to sway her way as she flirts with Will, played winningly by Kirk D. Henny. Kimberly A. Ginyard, as the flinty Sophie, brings good energy to her part. The best comic lines are given to Sharan Mansfield, as Ms. Leah, and she puts them across with wonderful timing and delivery.

The set is also a fine asset in this production. The rustic (faux) wood planks flanking two sides of the set and surmounted by a banner of blue sky give the feeling of the frontier west. The extensive furnishings add to the feeling of a compact, well-used cabin. The sets splits neatly into three sections -- the kitchen on stage right, the best bedroom on stage left, and the outside downstage across the full width of the stage. The window looking out of the cabin is used to good effect throughout at far stage right. Movement flows well throughout the sections.

"Flyin' West" is a fine start to Lionheart Theatre's 2010 season. The audience was full for the closing performance, and highly appreciative. The rest of Lionheart's ambitious season holds promise of maintaining the high standards of "Flyin' West." [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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