W.E.B. DuBois like you never knew him in NFT production

Linda Armstrong | 4/12/2011, 5:29 p.m.
Andre De Shields, Marie Thomas, Erin Cherry and Sean Phillips (Lia Chang photo)

The cast is awesome. Andre DeShields as DuBois is absolutely perfect. He plays this character is a snobbish, pompous, self-serving and dominating male. DeShields truly lets the audience see the dark side of DuBois. Marie Thomas portrays Nina and gives a dramatic and sensitive performance of this Black woman, who stood behind DuBois. While she didn't let the public know how cruel he could be, she did try to warn their daughter. Thomas portrays her with such intensity, that you can feel so much sympathy for this character.

I felt more sympathy for her than I did the Yolande, who was sacrificed into a doomed marriage to please her father. Erin Cherry does a marvelous job of playing Yolande. She gives the character distinct dimensions and shows how this young woman was her father's victim. She also demonstrates how the harsh reality of her marriage finally got Yolande to see her father for the person that he was--completely insensitive and a user of those he loved.

Morocco Omari gives a passionate, exciting performance as Jimmy, Yolande's boyfriend. His character speaks candidly with Yolande, and he bears his feelings as best he can. Gillian Glasco is wonderful as Lenora, Yolande trusted friend and a great comic relief character. Sean Phillips is on point as Countee.

Bringing the amazing work of this brilliant cast together is the goal and fantastic accomplishment of the show's director, Chuck Smith. "Knock Me a Kiss" is presented by Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre and Legacy Creative Arts Company, where Smith is the artistic director.

"Knock Me a Kiss" will only play through December 5. Make your way to 466 Grand Street so that you can be enlightened and entertained by this incredible production.