Montreal Fringe 2013 with Maja. Single Black Female
Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska
June 29, 2013 Saturday at 8:55 pm
Single Black Female (SBF for short) is a two woman show that takes on the lives of two African-American middle class women, a professor and a lawyer, trying to find love in the modern world. The play touches on race, class, as well as gender issues, all wrapped in a highly entertaining show. The piece wonderfully exploits the tension and camaraderie between the two women (Letitia Brookes and Gara Nlandu). Brookes is the softer-spoken friend with a tendency to over-intellectualize things, while Nlandu is more loud and unafraid to tell it like it is. The women operate on two distinct, but complementary fields. Nlandu would benefit from taking her energy down a notch – sometimes her “acting” gets in the way of her character and can take away from the message. When you really feel a connection with her character is when she does relax and strip down her character. Having said that, she also has some of the funniest moments of the show.
When she broke out into a rap song about her ideal man (along with all the awkward mannerisms), I, along with everyone else in the audience, doubled over with laughter. Never have I seen something so awkward or funny. What works really well for this show is that they’re not strictly pushing an ideology at you. You feel like you’re watching real women here. They’re intellectuals and feminists, but they’re also flawed human beings with doubts and questions. That’s why this show is ultimately so successful; you want to be friends with these two women. Whatever your race, they speak do touch upon universal truths and make you care about the issues, all with humour while giving the topic the seriousness it deserves at the same time. I would see this again. And again. And again. And, just for good measure, again.
Single Black Female
Director: Letitia Brookes
Starring: Gara Nlandu & Letitia Brookes
Stage Manager, Lighting & Sound Designer: Isabel Quintero Faia