“Lamariya” written by Crystal Rae, directed by Troy Scheid, stage managed by Danitra Luers; starring Byran Jacquet, Brenda “Bebe” Wilson, Kyle Anthony Mosley, Jarred Tettey, LaKeisha Randle, John Hall III, Adrian Cardell Porter, Samuel Harvey, and Rita L. Hughes.
The audience gets a ring-side view of a woman in an African outfit and a couple with a young boy in the midst of them. The young boy wants an answer for one of the world’s oldest and most important question as to where babies come from. His mother blushes and she tells him all about the African experience.
In another scene, the audience observes four performers on stage and they dress in Afro-centric attires. They talk about life, and the youngster wants to know all about the birds and bees before he goes to bed. One performer leaves and the other follows him. The son returns with a baby in his possession, and he talks with his mother. The other performers enter and they converse with each other before the mother advises her son on his survival and the death of a stark. The mother tells her son that not every bird needs to fly, for the “clipping of his wings” maybe the best thing to do in order to guarantee his safety.
The audience sees the husband and his wife as they catch up on each other activity during the day, and she relates her encounter with the green grocer to her husband. This green grocer apparently commits adultery in the community with other women, and it is common knowledge to some of the residents of Lamariya, Mississippi in the 1940s. The wife states how she asked him about his wife, and he gave her extra potatoes and onions. Perhaps the green grocer wanted to keep his customer happy for asking him about his wife. It could have been a friendly inquiry or a threat to his marriage because the lady knows about his shenanigans in the community.
The African mother tells her son about life, and she explains to him the purpose of the delivery of babies. She articulates to her son that he must trust his compass. The audience sees the boy with his wings as he portrays a stark, and he sees a black woman who questions him. She tries to protect him! Another woman comes in with a baby wraps in her arm. She mutters certain words about flying Starks to the audience, and she mentions certain geographical locations like Cuba and Mississippi. The husband and his wife sing a duet that mention Starks who deliver babies and how they are called envoys!
The woman in an African outfit walks around the stage, and she perform her hocus–pocus for the audience to see. The husband and his wife communicate with each other, and they look at the newspaper and read the printed news in it about an accidental drowning and the killing of a baby. The woman with the baby in her arm holds it next to the boy with the wings. The boy with his wings has a
job to do, but his family wants to curb his quest in the baby delivery business. He depicts the young stark with the answer to the burning question about babies, and the other youngster wants an answer to his question about where babies come from. Some adults have never been comfortable to discuss the birds and the bees with their children, so they rely heavily on the story about the Stark to soften the blow around the real deal.
The writer gets her message across to the audience, and I will surely recommend this performance to all die-hard theatre goers. It is a story that allows a mature audience to reflect on its own enlightenment about the birds and bees. Children need to know the truth about their real passage into this world when they are capable and old enough to deal with this reality of life.
The reviewer’s point of view. We are living in a very enlightened world, so parents can use technology to help them in the explaining of the birds and bees to their children. There are so many technological advancement in medicine today, so if a woman does want to become pregnant the old fashion way, there are other alternatives available to her. In this case, society may have to hold on the Nancy story for a bit longer.