Tag Archives: M Ensemble Company
If it’s possible to capture the depth and breadth of a tumultuous vibrant time and place by just focusing on the intersecting lives of five ordinary people, in this case Harlem in 1930, then Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky comes close, notably in this production by the M Ensemble Company.
For the majority of white Americans, the word “colonialism” is an abstract term usually confined to history courses. But in Layon Gray’s consciousness-expanding drama The Dahomey Warriors, foreign powers occupying your homeland becomes a palpable personal three-dimensional tragedy at M Ensemble’s tale of an African tribe whose military was comprised of women.
If Dickens’ opening line in A Tale of Two Cities has become a trite cliché through overuse it has become a painfully accurate truism about theater over the past two years, especially South Florida theater. Crippling loss and inspiring resurrection. Surrender and perseverance. And , now, the Covid threat has reasserted. But looking back on those two years delivers a testament worth celebrating and learning from.
In Cowboy, the new dramatic play opening in June at M Ensemble in Miami, the gun-totin’ U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, traditionally garbed down to the required Stetson, strides through the double doors of the saloon, secretly on the trail of two wanted criminals. But there’s a slight difference from the oaters in which Sheriff John Wayne restored justice to a sleepy town.
Sometimes the joint is jumpin’ in M Ensemble Company’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, sometime things are sluggish; sometimes you can savor the brilliant lyrics coming from a talented quintet , sometimes you can only understand half the words. The moments that work are a joy to be present for a, some others are a disappointment.
The dominating vision of The Tree and its dark violent past is a theatrical masterstroke from writer-director Layon Gray that opens a stirring Meet Me At The Oak, posting yet another strong offering for a revitalized M Ensemble.
In the current production of The M Ensemble Company, August Wilson’s legendary Seven Guitars almost plays like a musical or a folk opera akin to Porgy and Bess or Floyd Collins.
For those assigned to commit James Weldon Johnson’s narratives to memory in their younger days, M Ensemble’s God’s Trombones will wrap them in warm nostalgia. For others, M Ensemble skillful interpretation should elicit praise for introducing, and keeping, this important treasure of cultural history in the public eye.
Meet the Ladies of Sassy Mamas, some of Washington, D.C.’s finest women who are going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. They’ve turned the tables on older men, a given that all is right with the world if they have a young woman on their arms. The three friends are at different stages of their lives, yes, but they couldn’t be more than ready to meet in the middle. It’s time for them to venture out and get some eye candy of their own.