This is a bittersweet story of a Victorian seamstress, stitched together by short scene snippets. In this Celebration Arts production, we are introduced to Esther Mills, an African-American who makes her living in the early 1900s sewing intimate-apparel undergarments for upper-class women, as well as the ladies of the night. Inspired by playwright Lynn Nottage’s grandmother, the play gives insight into a self-sufficient woman who struggles to obtain success in business, but not in the ways of the heart. There are some loose threads in this—the pacing and set changes need tightening, but the portrayal by Traci Scott, along with other performances, creates a warm and intricate story quilt.
Celebration Arts; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$15. 4469 D Street; (916) 455-2787, www.celbrationarts.net. Through June 23.