Don’t mess with Mama
Sacramento, CA 95819
Shay Youngblood’s tale of a young woman raised in the South during the late 1950s and early 1960s is full of the wonder of gatherings of women. The iconic Daughter (Candace Nicholas-Lippmann) is abandoned by her mother and raised by a group of women who provide all the mothering she could possibly need. This is one of Celebration Arts’ strengths: a strong ensemble piece that makes good use of music. Big Mama (Voress Franklin) and Aunt Mae (Jean Hooks) provide a balance of Bible totin’ and bootleggin’. The group of women also include a dynamite performance by the energetic K.T. Masala in a triple play: She portrays mean cousin DeeDee; a woman of the streets named Maggie; and the odd, funereal Miss Rosa in relatively short order. In a dual role as Fannie Mae, Daughter’s long-lost mother; and Miss Shine, a feminist twist on the African-American folk trickster “Shine”; Tisha Hill-Smith exhibits grace and power. The obvious sisterhood the women share and the revelation of its power is the heart of this play, which is, essentially, all about heart—and the powerful ensemble knows it.
Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$15. Celebration Arts, 4469 D Street; (916) 455-2787; www.celebrationarts.net. Through January 16.