This Week in Theater
Written by Wendy Graf
Review by Rose Desena
Julia (Diarra Kilpatrick), an African American woman, is an up and coming lawyer at a prestigious law firm living a professional life style in NYC. Neyla (Yvonne Huff) is a young Muslim woman in present-day Iraq whose only joy in life is her violin. What both of these women share is a connection that digs as deep as the crater left by the Twin Towers long after it was cleared. They also share a father, as interesting as that sounds.
Playwright Wendy Graf digs deep as she ventures into emotional territory with the tragedy of 9/11. How many innocent lives have been lost? Those in the Towers were not the only victims. Women and children living in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered loses that were just as devastating. Wendy doesn’t stop there; many Middle Easterners were treated badly after that horrible day. Prejudice and fear know no bounds.
Diarra Kilpatrick gives a Tony Award-worthy performance as she probes deep into her rage, anger and pain and works through the secrets that lie beneath Julia’s aloof personality.
I was very surprised by Huff’s engaging performance because she only had 10 days to rehearse after a sudden cast change. She pulled it off with grace. Her accent was pretty darn good, and she never missed a beat. Shirley Jo Finney was at the helm, a perfect choice, as this is her territory.
Wendy Graf brings the audience a complicated script that deals with a lot more than 9/11 and its catastrophe. Father and daughter relationships and disappointment are just as important to this strong drama.
Q&A with Wend Grag – http://www.thelosangelespost.org/playwright-wendy-graf-rose-desena/
Read more about Shirley Jo Finney – http://www.shirleyjofinney.com/
Written by Wendy Graf
Directed by Shirley Jo Finney
Starring Yvonne Huff, Brent Jennings, Diarra Kilpatrick, Ted Mattison, Adam Meir
6201 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038 (Just east of Vine)
Performances continue through March 30
Fridays at 8 p.m.: March 7, 14, 21, 28
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: March 8, 15, 22, 29
Sundays at 4 p.m.: March 9, 16, 23, 30
323-960-7774 or www.plays411.com/relatedkeys