Writer, Composer and Director Jacqueline Hankins
is known to many as the creator of a series of critically
acclaimed folk operas known as the "Hop Hop Musical
Mysteries". Recently, I had the opportunity to view her
latest creation "A Weapon Most Unusual", which consists
of a large cast of twenty actors, eight of which actually
appear via a pre-taped video.
Headlining the cast are Marri J. Wright, Jacqueline Hankins, Margaret Wheeler, Ann
Estill, Anna Hill, Candice A. Hassell, Laurence Alexander, and Larry Antonio, with a jury
of Giovanni Trosa, Vincenzo Zaccarro, Leroy Hankins, Cory Brookshire, Amir Levi,
Carmen Mathis, Francesca Bellenis, Crystal Roman, Cecelia Hankins, Christine Bardes,
Thomas Blake, and Christopher Johnson. The book and lyrics for the show is written by
Jacqueline Hankins and Richard Mamarella. Ms. Hankins also directs the production.
The 40-minute production was very new to me in style and genre. I had never been to
any production like it and was intrigued by the format of the show and how it was able to
be produced in such an intimate setting. Most of the play is expressed through rap
music and takes us through the trial of Miriam Cook, played by Marri J. Wright, a woman
who kills her husband in a jealous rage and then hires Amanda Warren, a celebrity
attorney portrayed by the playwright, Jacqueline Hankins.
The courtroom turns into a side show circus of antics through the testimonies of the
witnesses, the accused and the lawyers. This is a very funny production. The eight
actors who are performing live bring so much to the audience and they are
complimented by the gifted actors who are on the video recording. One of the things
that I really enjoyed about the production was that the audience was exposed to the
inner thoughts of the jury members, many of whom expressed their true feelings to
themselves but would not express those same sentiments out in the open.
When I viewed this production, I was an actual real life Grand Jury and I was in stitches
to hear some of the inner thoughts of the jury in the production because I could identify.
If you are looking for a theater production to attend and you would like to see
something different and fun, check out "A Weapon Most Unusual." I guarantee you will
"A Weapon Most Unusual" has weekend brunch performances scheduled for Saturdays
and Sundays at 2:30 P.M. for an open ended run.
The Playwright Tavern is located at 732 Eighth Avenue (Between 45th and 46th
Streets). For tickets, please call 212-246-4908.
|THE BLACK STAR NEWS
Reviewed By Nicole U. Hopkins
Scene from the play