August 7, 2005 |
FICTIONAL settings often involve an invented community superimposed on an actual location, with the name sometimes changed to protect the privacy (or guilt) of the inhabitants. And while Thomas Hardy's Wessex or Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire remind us the technique is not new or exclusively American, some of the more memorable examples that come to mind are from the American South -- most famously William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County standing in for Lafayette County, Miss.
December 31, 2003 |
NOTED playwright and essayist Pearl Cleage has a body of work distinguished by its seamless blending of women's intimate stories and broader political issues. Her most popular plays, "Flyin' West" and "Blues for an Alabama Sky," concern historical black women whose personal circumstances and dilemmas reflect and inform larger societal issues of slavery and racism. For her fans, however, the greatest drawback to Cleage's stage work has been that the emotional bonds formed with her characters end when the curtain comes down.
February 18, 1999
"Flyin' West," Pearl Cleage's drama about a household of women who live in an all-black town in Kansas in 1898, closes Sunday at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Today and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 5 and 9 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. $13.50 to $42.50. (800) 233-3123.
March 25, 1999
* Music. Impressionistic keyboardist Keiko Matsui plays her jazz-New-Age-world-music hybrid on April 3 at 8 p.m., at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. $27 to $42. (800) 300-4345. * Dance. Ancient music and dance from the Japanese Imperial Court will be re-created in the program of Gagaku and Bugaku by the Ikoma Gagaku Music Society of Nara on April 2 at 8 p.m. in the Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. $8 to $22.
September 27, 1994 |
"Flyin' West," Pearl Cleage's post-Civil War tale of African Americans who founded the still-existing all-black township of Nicodemus, Kan., offers up a tantalizing story, rich in detail and possibility. San Diego Repertory Theatre realizes some of the potential in Cleage's 1992 play. Its triumphs are the creation of slaves turned pioneers--Miss Leah and Sophie Washington, magnificently played here by Irma P. Hall and Sylvia M'Lafi Thompson. But the play needs judicious cutting and rewriting.
March 20, 2014 |
Although a bit hyperbolic at times, Pearl Cleage's period drama, “Flyin' West,” now at the International City Theatre in Long Beach, is nonetheless a ripping good yarn that excites our sympathies throughout. The action transpires in the historical setting of Nicodemus, Kansas - an all-black enclave that was settled in the aftermath of the Civil War, as freed slaves fled the atrocities of the Jim Crow south. It's here that feisty, gun-toting Sophie (Cheri Lynne VandenHeuvel)