Theater Review: Black Pearl Sings!
By Livia Peterson
Considering the Milwaukee Rep's mission to ignite positive change and inspire meaningful conversations, Black Pearl Sings! provides a contagious melody that will leave you revitalized following the performance.
Two acts with one twenty minute intermission. In the first act, the Library of Congress collector Susannah Mullally (Colleen Madden) acquaints and eventually, become friends with the African American convict Alberta 'Pearl' Johnson (Lynette DuPree) at a prison farm during the summer in the southeast Texas during 1933. While Susannah requests Pearl to record songs of her past, Pearl demands to live a free life and find the long lost daughter. In the second act, Susannah and Pearl reside in the Greenwich Village based apartment during 1934. While Pearl performs for audiences, Susannah recognizes song is for the soul and so much more.
Black Pearl Sings! delivers many pathos and indeed, the production will leave a smile on one's face. As Ms. Dupree's understated and nuanced performance allows one to ponder the lives of the poverty stricken African Americans, Ms. Madden's sublime, perhaps too assertive performance allows one to ponder race and segregation during the Trump Administration.
From Courtney O'Neill's marvelous scenic design to Lauren T. Roark's elegant costume design, it impeccably examines the current race relations. With all that said, Black Pearl Sings! is easily my favorite Stackner Cabaret production during the 2017-2018 Season. A
Black Pearl Sings! continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater│Stackner Cabaret
108 East Wells Street, Milwaukee WI 53202
Official Website │414-224-9490