Oscar E Moore

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CHICKEN & BISCUITS – Guess who’s coming to the funeral

October 11th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Oh what a relief it is!  Laughing out loud with a packed house on Broadway!  And at a funeral no less!

The dearly departed in question is Bernard Jenkins (unseen until his casket is rolled out on stage at the Circle in the Square where CHICKEN & BISCUITS authored by Douglas Lyons has recently opened under the astute guidance of Zhailon Levington (the youngest Black director in Broadway history) to have BJ’s life celebrated by his extended family.

Harkening back to the golden days of Neil Simon we are treated to a true laugh-fest.  With a dash of such television favorites as The Jeffersons and All in the Family, Flip Wilson (as Geraldine) and a pinch of Chekhov this original, unapologetic old fashioned comedy began its life at Queens Theatre, Queens NY in February 2020 until it was stopped dead in its tracks by COVID.  But it has been remounted, rejuvenated and revitalized for all to enjoy.

Coming together at St. Luke’s Church, New Haven Connecticut to mourn, speak about, laugh and bitch, the bereaved include eight “vibrant” personalities:  Reginald Mabry (Norm Lewis) new pastor and faithful, peace keeping husband of Baneatta Mabry nee: Baneatta Jenkins (Cleo King) a strong and stubborn Christian woman, their two grown children, unlucky in love Simone (a subdued Alana Raquel Bowers) and Kenny (Devere Rogers) who is proudly gay and has brought his nervous, neurotic, “white” Jewish “friend” Logan Leibowitz along for the ride (Michael Urie)

Baneatta’s younger over-the-top sister the sartorial splendored scene stealing Beverly (Ebony Marshall-Oliver) and her 16 year old uneasy daughter La’Trice Franklin (Aigner Mizzelle).  The surprise mystery guest is Brianna (Natasha Yvette Williams) who shakes things up a bit.

Put them all together, mix well (as the director has accomplished) and you are in for a tasty treat of laughter and family love – with all the dressings.

Speaking of which, the simple all-purpose set by Lawrence E. Moten III, costumes by Dede Ayite (particularly the ladies hats) and lighting design (Adam Honore) add to this recipe for an old fashioned entertaining success.  It’s good to laugh.  Really laugh!


Through January 2, 2022

NOTE:  I would not be surprised if this family became a successful TV sitcom.

100 minutes no intermission.  Proof of vaccination Photo ID Mask

Photos:  Emilio Madrid

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