Chicago Theatre Review
Are You Down with the Sisterhood?
When I first researched and read the synopsis for The Dowager Daughters of Transcendence I made the assumption that it would be boring. But when I found out that the play was a comedy I became a little more excited and prepared for a laughing fit. And I am pleased to say that I got the laughter I was looking for but I left the theatre a little confused on a few parts in the play.
The Dowager Daughters of Transcendence, written by Cheryl Hall and directed by Anthony P. Brooks, is about a community group of women who takes an interest in helping their community grow and keeping its residence safe. They raise money to provide scholarships for college bound community students and sponsor a food drive to feed the hungry in their community. However, the scholarships are misused and the food bank no longer accepts their food donations. There are two chapters of the DDT in town, but the chapter under the direction of Marguerite (Carolyn Nelson), Vivva (Angela Parker), Gail (Laura Mueller) and Delphine aka Effie (Marlo Mann) is in jeopardy of losing its charter.
Marguerite, Vivva, Gail, and Effie are hardworking members of their chapter who must meet with counsel woman Yardley (Rhonda Preston) “Grand Poobah” of the Daughters in an effort to save their charter while dealing with the everyday obstacles that threatens the livelihood and safety of their community. Other characters in the show include the police officer Boris (Marc Rogers) and Yardley’s grandson Taekwondorian (Charles Whitman).
The playwright did an excellent job with the jokes and punch lines in the piece and the actors/actresses’ delivery was superb. I found myself laughing throughout the entire play. Those, for me, however, were the strong points of the play. The main point that I did not like about the piece was that it left me very confused. I understood that the playwright wanted the audience to see that these women stick together and respect the sisterhood of the chapter, but what I did not understand was the purpose of the burglar introduced in the first act. That really threw me off because I thought it was going to go in a different direction than what it did.
In my opinion the playwright had really good points that she wanted to hit on in the play. But I felt that they could have been introduced and conquered in a different order. I would recommend this play to others because it was enjoyable and funny. Lastly the actors that portrayed the characters of Gail, Boris and Taekwondorian did an excellent job with their performances. I felt the other actors did a good job but it was obvious that possibly nerves were hindering their performances.
The Dowager Daughters of Transcendence will runs June 14- August 5 at the eta Creative Arts Foundation Inc., 7558 S. Chicago Ave. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $30 for general admission, on Thursday nights they offer a discounted rate of $20 and group rates are available. To reserve your seat call 773-752-3955.