THEATER REVIEW: “The Amen Corner” @ Powerful Long Ladder by Linda Eisenstein

Photo by Michele Edwards Whitfield

Fri 12/1-Sun 12/10

The Amen Corner by the new Powerful Long Ladder has some truly fine performances — but it’s James Baldwin’s classic script that supports it all.

Peter Lawson Jones is wonderful as the tubercular jazz musician who comes unexpectedly back into the life of the sanctified Sister Margaret (Jeannine Gaskin), sending her congregation and her teenage son into turmoil and revolt. The father/son scene is almost unbearably touching. Baldwin’s take on internal church politics is both hilarious and biting — just watch Sister Moore (a rocking Rochelle Jones) and Sister Boxer (Dr. Deborah Watson Daniel, in poisonous green gloves) plot and scheme.

Mad props to Holy Trinity Cultural Arts Center for turning their social hall into the welcoming Underground Theatre in collaboration with one of Cleveland’s artistic treasures, director Terrence Spivey, who remains dedicated to pursuing African-American theatre. It bodes well for our area cultural landscape.

[Written by Linda Eisenstein]

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