The Amen Corner

Rated 4.0

The congregation of a small Harlem storefront church are gospel-singing, Lord-praising, Amen-saying, arms-swaying, fan-waving, tithe-paying women and men of the church, decked out in their Sunday best. James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner is a tribute to these cobbled-together churches, while revealing their hidden hypocrisies. Director James Wheatley wisely plays up the gospel singing, which is the strength of both this production and the play. Unfortunately, both the play and the production have pacing problems, most evident as the story unfolds and loses steam. But both are saved by strong performances backed up by a warm, welcoming Gospel-singing cast.
Celebration Arts Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays; $15 for general admission, $13 for students and seniors (all seats $8 on Thursday nights). 4469 D Street; (916) 455-2787, Through January 12.