The Joint is a new musical written by Curtis D. Jones with music and lyrics by Timothy Graphenreed from a concept by Denise S. Gray. Production directed and choreographed by Kenneth L. Roberson
The story of the Joint is a real time/flashback tale of the golden days of a nightclub in 1947 called “The Joint.”
The owner of the club, Queenie, played brilliantly by Sheila K. Davis, holds a vocal talent show for a recording studio and the winner receives a record contract. This attracts the upstairs neighbors Minister Brinkley (played with grace and power by Erick Pinnick) and his wife Evelyn (Brenda Braxton who captivated the audience) to join in and leads to a victory for Evelyn. Fast forward to 1967 and we find Corrida (played with fine subtly by Crystal Joy), the daughter of Minister Brinkley and Evelyn, has returned from NYC after her dream of singing for a record company fell through. We come to understand that Evelyn was not in Corridas life after her record deal in 1947 this causes tension between her and her father because of the Ministers abandonment issues.
The music enhanced the backstory and helped develop the dramatic tension between the characters in this imaginative tale that respondents both as a period piece and a modern parable. From Corrida’s “Don’t Know Me At All” to Queenie’s “Stop!” that reveals her mounting frustration with her current [young] paramour, Buster (a high-energy Albert Christmas). The concept of the band as a permanent fixture was used smartly throughout the performance. It created some sound and audibility issues in the expansive space but that production not product and can be cured with better sound equipment – or a different type of space. Even with that, it didn’t stop the music moving the audience with its rousing score of Jazz, Gospel and Blues numbers.
This initial workshop of “The Joint” had the house jumping and laughing with an energy akin to a Baptist church revival. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Reviews are contributed through various services and freelancers.