While the play has moved on to other cities scheduled on its current U.S. tour, you owe it to yourself to hop a plane, grab a train or get behind the wheel and enjoy this production in a city near you.
Why? Because, in a word, it’s wonderful.
I took my 89-year-old mother to see the show here in the District for its final production and she could not take her eyes off the actors. Of course, with the likes of such proven thespians as Vivica A. Fox, Porsha Williams, Gary Dourdan, Columbus Short, RonReaco Lee, Brely Evans, singing sensation Towanda Braxton and the acclaimed songstress Vivian Green, who makes her theatrical debut, it’s hard to imagine this play not knocking audiences off their feet.
Fox brought her A-game as I expected. And yes, I must admit, she was even better in the play than she was in the film which I remember seeing over 20 years ago. Truth be told, she exhibited such command of the stage that I can imagine her taking on any role she desires — and making it her own.
But the biggest surprise, at least for me, was Carl Payne who plays Tony — a role portrayed by “Black-ish” co-star Anthony Anderson. Payne is probably best remembered for his recurring roles as the best friend of Theo Huxtable, “Cockroach,” on the hit series “The Cosby Show” and as Cole Brown on “Martin.”
However, what I had never really focused on was his amazingly-accurate timing as a comedian. Yes, Carl Anthony Payne is a true comedic genius. For me, he was the glue that kept this show together while also moving it forward with a pace that made the over two-hour production seem like it was only minutes.
Je’Caryous Johnson has hit another home run. But he could not have pulled it off without the cast he’s assembled — an ensemble that make it look far easier than it really is.