"God is the most impossible man to deal with!" cries a frustrated Sister Margaret (Agnolia B. Gay) in James Baldwin's "The Amen Corner" at the Basement Theatre in Pasadena.
Margaret, a minister whose congregation eventually betrays her, is strong yet immensely troubled, torn between her faith in God and her love for her husband, Luke (Fitz Houston).
Anybody who has struggled with doubts about religion, love and loyalty will empathize with Sister Margaret, whose stubborn, desperate faith becomes both her salvation and her destruction. She tries to keep her restless young son (William Everette Simmons) from following in the path of his musician father, who reappears after years of separation, deathly ill but defiantly resistant to his wife's religiosity.
During an exuberant church scene, the audience almost becomes part of the congregation. It's easy to forget that it's a play and start to clap along with the soulful hymns of praise.