Marie and Rosetta; Small Mouth Sounds

Two off Broadway Plays today.

Marie and Rosetta is based on the real life partnership of Marie Knight and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  Playwright George Brant has clearly done his research and brings together convincing interaction for the two woman cast.  Ultimately though the script becomes manipulative, explanatory and maudlin.  He did get me though, I was crying like a baby at the end.  The direction is effective and the two women band hidden behind a scrim does fine work.  Ultimately the piece is carried by extraordinary performances of Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis.  They and their voices carry the day.

Small Mouth Sounds at the Pershing Square Signature Center is astounding.  The performances, script and direction are amazing.  Six disparate people are on a weeklong retreat where silence is desired to find their true center.  It was an amazing experience and highly recommended before it closes October 9.  The staging is amazing and the performances are uniformly top rate.  Yes, there is dialogue and every line works, but the silent (or mostly silent) acting make the greatest impression.  Don’t miss this one

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