Saturday, September 22, 2018

A Cry In Black History That Belongs To All Of Us

by Kim (writer), Los Angeles, March 06, 2009


More than a play about a Blues Icon

Black History Month just wrapped up but the celebration, acknowledgement, recognition, and education continues with an incredible play at the Stella Adler Theatre.

This gem of a venue is located in the hub Hollywood presents a jewel in a poignant form.

Howlin' Blues & Dirty Dogs was a wonderful piece that portrayed the life of woman was not given credit for the numerous contributions she made the World of Music - Jazz and Blues Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. Barbara Morrison - Jazz Legend in her own rite, does an incredibly breathe taking interpretation of “Big Mama" Thornton.

Barbara totally absorbs herself in the essence of wonderful vocalist/musician whose short life was not validated as it should have been, for she contributed in an imperative manner to the art form of the Blues. Big Mama wrote many well-known, creative many pieces for which she was not given the due recognition.

This play regarding her life gives a fitting tribute to her genius.

The endowed cast members of "Howlin' Blues" were as follows:

Larry James Robinson - Producer, Writer, and Big Mama’s Father/Preacher

Aldene "Pat" Sligh - Big Mama's Sister

Phillip Bell - Johnny Ace/Bardu Ali

Larney "Dapper" Johnson - Johnny Otis/Don Robey - Friend of Big Mama

Pysa Noel - Choreographer/Dancer

Lou Beatty - Narrator/ Sammy Green

Each actor presented a rich depiction in their role that added to the life and history of Big Mama Thornton. The vocalist in particular shared the very essence of the music with the assistance of an ensemble that included subtle yet soulful Charles Small - Lead Guitar, an intuitive and innovative Ronald Bishop on Piano, energetic while enticing Peter Buck on Drums, and a connecting and collected Richard Taylor on Bass Guitar.

The history surrounded around Big Mama Thornton’s life was tragic and eye-opening and filled with life lessons everyone should know. The play displays a part of Black History that should be shown on stages across the nation.

"Howlin' Blues" and "Dirty Dogs" is truly wonderful work of art not to be missed embracing sentiment that was colorful, passionate, engaging, humorous, and heartbreaking, combine with an eye-opening raw truth and knowledge.

The music - Vocals and the ensemble of Musicians, Dancers, Actors, Poets, and Historians are simply glorious!

Take your friends, relatives and all others you can get to attend!!!

You will not be disappointed.

"Howlin" Blues" and "Dirty Dogs" runs through April 12th 2009 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

Please Note:  Regarding tickets - Thursdays are 2 for the price of 1 Night.

About the Writer

Kim is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on A Cry In Black History That Belongs To All Of Us

Log In To Vote   Score: 7
By VeroniqueChevalier on March 07, 2009 at 02:23 pm

Kim, Thanks so much for posting this. I hadn't heard about the show, but now I can not wait to attend!

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Log In To Vote   Score: 4
By Kim on March 09, 2009 at 03:31 pm

You're welcome, Veronique. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!!! Thanks for your comments:)

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