Sunday, April 22, 2012
DTC Wears "Crowns" Proudly!
The Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) concludes its 33rd Season with the gospel musical, Crowns, written by Regina Taylor. The musical's familiar and joyful gospel songs and spirituals transports the DTC audience from a theatre in Wilmington to a southern Baptist church!
The story of Crowns is rather slim, but what can you expect from a musical based on a book of pictures? However, it's the uplifting and sometimes humorous music and performances that make Crowns a stirring and exciting production. The stellar cast directed by DTC favorite, Kevin Ramsey, brings their "A" game to the stage and ignites the theatre to a standing ovation at the conclusion of the show!
Yolanda, played by Ashlei Dabney, is a street-wise teenager living in Brooklyn with her family. After Yolanda's brother is killed, Yolanda is sent to live in the south with her grandmother (Mother Shaw), played by Barbara D. Mills. Mother Shaw and her friends teach Yolanda about the historical and contemporary social functioning of the hats they wear to church and around town. Of course, life-lessons are taught through these stories.
The ensemble cast of six women and one man has a great rapport. Their soaring voices deliver such classics as "Oh When the Saints" and "I've Got Joy Like a Fountain". The lady sitting next to me couldn't resist singing along! Ms. Mills' performance is stellar: she has a commanding, matriarchal presence that is needed in the portrayal of a good Christian southern woman who dons many hats. Listening to her sing is like being saved. A performance that is not to be missed!
Oh, I can't forget to mention the crowns! Designed by Brian Strachan, the hats are large and colorful to match the stories of the women who wear them! The gorgeous hats will be sold at the end of the run, with the proceeds benefiting DTC.
Crowns runs through April 29th. For more information visit www.delawaretheatre.org or call 302.594.1100.
Posted by Charles "Ebbie" Alfree III