*For fans of the CBS daytime television mainstay “The Young and the Restless,” Julia Pace Mitchell (“Notorious,” “Faster”) is a breath of fresh air and another great reason to tune in to the show.  

However, this Los Angeles born, Howard University educated and Broadway trained actress, is an excellent writer, too. Last night at the El Centro Theatre in Hollywood, we had the opportunity to be in the opening night audience to see her creation called “The Hills Above the Hood.”

The play, which we thoroughly enjoyed, has already received NAACP Award nominations for: Best Director* Best Playwright* Best Choreography and Best Ensemble. It’s also been declared a Back Stage West Theater Award Winner

Here, she gives our Lee Bailey the rundown on what it’s all about.

“It’s a connection of stories and monologues and poems that show the gammut of everything.  It’ll make laugh, it’ll make you cry and it’ll make you dance.  It’s sort of a summation of all the things that black women are that live in this neighborhood.  There’s different monologues.  One of them is about a school teacher who is a very rightwing Republican who comes to the hood to teach the kids self-esteem and math and they call her a ugly, black bitch.  I play that character.   The character is very interesting, but we rarely get to see that.  There’s lots of black Libertarians and Republicans who have strong opinions and do want to help in the community.  The character does a monologue about how she wants to help the kids and what she’s going through in the community.”

Mr. Bailey half-jokingly asked whether or not she would contact Tyler Perry to finance one of her offerings, but it was no laughing matter to Ms. Mitchell.  

“That’s the other thing.  I think it’s great that he’s able to greenlight so many women’s stories, but I think it’s time that women are able to greenlight some of their own stories as well.  I think that sisters should start support themselves.  It’s only logical.”

It is indeed.  She also told us that former “American Idol” favorite Frenchie Davis has a pivotal role in the play as well.  

“The fabulous Frenchie Davis is in the chorus of our play and will be singing her butt off. In classical Greek theater the chorus gives comments and also tells you (the audience) what’s going to happen next.  In this play it’s her singing what’s going to happen next.”

The play also stars:

Tammi Mack (KJLH, Love & Other Four Letter Words)
Mechelle Epps (The Game)
Julanne C. Hill (Weeds, My Name is Earl)
Mercedes Cruz (The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Played By Fame)
Tiffany Snow (For Colored Girls)
Regan Metoyer (90210, Everybody Hates Chris)

Once again, “The Hills Above The Hood” runs tonight and tomorrow night, December 19th at the El Centro Theater in Hollywood (804 El Centro St, between Santa Monica and Melrose Boulevards).  

Be looking out for more EUR coverage of this budding star in the coming weeks.

On the web: www.JuliaPaceMitchell.com/