Reviewed Friday, April 26 for the Ottawa Citizen
Jackie Richardson on stage.
There’s never any doubt in this blockbuster of a show about the late American blues dynamo Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton that the lady could handle herself. From slugging an abusive man when she was 14 to mopping the floor with another jerk when performing in a juke joint later in life, Thornton — played with conviction, grace and one mighty big voice by Canadian jazz icon Jackie Richardson — took guff from no one.
At the same time, she had great emotional generosity. That combination of taking no prisoners and a big heart, coupled with her instinctive artistic honesty, made Thornton that rare performer who connects almost physically with her audience……..