*There’s something about stage plays that turn me off at times. I have seen some memorable plays, but, I have seen more forgettable ones and those will remain nameless.
So, naturally, when I was invited to attend the stage play “She Won’t Let Go” my expectations weren’t exceedingly high. As a matter of fact, I walked inside of LA’s Stage 52 on Washington Boulevard automatically thinking, here we go again.
Another play, about a woman who refuses to let go of her doggish man. Oh, no. I got it! The woman is trying to let go of a man that is married that she’s dating. Yeah, that’s it for sure! Well I am happy to say, I was wrong. Move over Tyler Perry there’s a new playwright in town.
Written, directed and produced by Patricia Cuffie-Jones of Diverge Entertainment Productions, “She Won’t Let Go” explores the other man.
The mama’s boy and his mother, the action centers around Raquel Brooks (played by Tammy Townsend), a successful single mother who seems to have it all including the love of her life Elijah, her son.
Raquel’s reality is soon interrupted, when Elijah brings her worst nightmare, Jolie Latis – a refined southern belle who has captured her sons’ heart – home to meet her. Surrounded by her freeloading cousin Summer (played by Rhona Bennett), her Aunt Jeryladine (played by Endyia Kinney-Sterns) and Elijah’s baby momma Mya (played by LaCora Stephens) and Raquel’s new love Chris (played by Marcuis Harris), Raquel and Elijah’s struggle with matters of the heart and learn powerful lessons in fear, forgiveness, healing and letting go.
The cast gave a captivating performance that made the audience feel right at home. Scott St. Patrick Williams as her son, Elijah, thrilled the audience and brought his emotions to the table, while revealing the vulnerabilities that a complex relationship like this can bring. You root for him as you would for your own family. Mekia Cox as Jolie LaTise stole the show with her witty and hilarious portrayal of Elijah’s other half. You wish you could leave your seat and slap some sense into her.
Between intermissions Cuffie-Jones took particular care of her audience, appointing spoken word artist Van Brown to recite poetry and address the audience with announcements and updates when needed. The dialogue was bright and relatable and I applaud Mrs. Cuffie-Jones for her efforts in telling her story through her characters without the use of profanity. Although the second act was a bit rushed, I assumed due to time constraints, Cuffie-Jones was able to wrap it with a pretty bow and usher in a happy ending full circle.
Go see, “She Won’t Let Go” playing NOW at the famous STAGE 52 playhouse. Stage 52 Playhouse is located at 5299 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles CA, 90016. Showing August 5, 6 & 7. Friday & Saturday Shows @ 7:30pm / Sunday Matinee is @ 3pm. There is limited seating. Tickets are $25. Purchase online at – http://she-wont-let-go.eventbrite.com/
One other note. Oscar Nominated actress Margaret Avery (“The Color Purple”) will be gracing the stage as Aunt Jeryladine this upcoming weekend.
Review by Tanisha Quilter-Williams ([email protected]), freelance entertainment reporter/writer. Author of “Land a Celebrity Reporting Job” hitting online bookshelves Winter, 2012.