Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Night at the Theatre

Last night I had the pleasure of going to one of my favorite restaurants in the District and the theatre. We started off at Co. Co. Sala. where I continue to be amazed every time I eat there. We had shrimp mac-n-cheese, tuna tartar and something new, a parmesan cheese trio that included a parmesan shot and flat bread topped with figs and melted parmesan. It was like being in cheese heaven.

After we finished off dinner (with a peanut butter cocoa "to go") we rounded the corner and headed for Ford’s Theatre to see the production “Black Pearl Sings”. The story is set in a Louisiana prison and Greenwich Village and though miles apart and light-years between the two societies, Pearl’s journey from a 10 year prison term to the performance stages of New York was enlightening.

Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins made her Ford’s Theatre debut in the title role with Erika Rolfsrud as Susannah. Washington director/playwright/actor Jennifer L. Nelson returned to Ford’s to direct for the first time since her critically acclaimed production of “Jitney.”

What I loved most about the performance was the quick whit between the characters and the booming melodic voices of both Pearl and Susannah. And the set design by Tony Cisek was pristine, especially the design of the New York backdrop and their apartment in New York.

Black Pearl Sings is inspired by a true story of singer and guitarist Huddie Ledbetter and musicologist John Lomax. The two met at a Louisiana prison in 1933. Ledbetter grew up in Texas and was in and out of prison and Lomas was a well-known collector of folks songs and traveled throughout the South to collect and record songs for the Library of Congress.

“When a person dies, a library dies with them,” said the character of Susannah (Lomax) in first act of the play. And there began the journey of Susannah and her attempt to capture slave songs by Pearl (Ledbetter). From their together time in the “pen” to the nightlife of Greenwich Village, it was a musical journey.

It has been a while since I'd ventured out to the theatre and it was a true pleasure to begin theatre season with "Black Pearl Sings" in the historic Ford's Theatre.

Tickets for the performance are $25 to $49 HERE and CLICK HERE to learn more about their upcoming season including performances of A Christmas Carol (December) and Little Shop of Horrors (March).

UPDATE! Ford's Theatre is now offering $10 tickets to patrons under the age of 35 for all performances of “Black Pearl Sings” through Oct 18th. Those interested should use code UNDER35 at or at the Box Office (proof of age required when picking up tickets).


Jordan said...

How could you leave out the Fire Alarm?!

Jade Floyd said...

Actually I loved the fire alarm went off because I ran to my car and grabbed my jacket. I was a bit cold ;) And Asma went and grabbed some tea from Co. Co. Sala again. :)