There is no fourth wall, there is a lot of heart, appreciation, originality and a countless number of rhymed words that will make your heart sing. There is humming and you do it too, there is singing and you do it too. There is judging and you do it too. Where is this all happening? At “Where We Stand” playing at the WP Theatre at Broadway and 76th Street through March 1 only.
This one-person, very beautifully written and performed play is a blessing bestowed on audiences by its writer/performer Donnetta Lavinia Grays. This extraordinarily gifted performer can write, act and sing. Sing gospel actual in one of the most deeply felt voices you will hear.
Her fable-like work with a powerful moral teaches a lesson about where we stand as human beings and our cruel treatment towards each other. Her character called simply “Man” is someone who has been ostracized by the people of his small town. He is lonely, suffering and ignored by his neighbors. To have his existence acknowledged would mean so much. His life is a dreadful existence. Suddenly he meets a man dressed in gold who can grant wishes, but those wishes come with a cost.
This production, which is full of humor, has many characters that inhabit the town and have their own distinctive voices. These people want the wonderful things that life has to offer as any people would, but again, at what cost? When we need something, it is different than a desire. But, what happens when all your needs are met and life is so full of good things that you begin to get full of yourself? When you wish for your dreams and you get them, what comes after that? What is it about human nature that makes us never satisfied?
This play truly shows that you should be very careful what you wish for. But, it also demonstrates man’s ability to accept our weaknesses and try to look beyond. When we make a bed, should we all be in it or should we throw one person to the abyss?
There is so much humor through the metamorphosis the townspeople go through and it’s delightful how well Grays captures the town personalities of the types of people we all know. Tamilla Woodard does a fantastic job with direction. Please go see “Where We Stand.” It is presented by the Women’s Project WP Theatre 40 years in association with Baltimore Center Stage. At certain performances Grays alternates with David Ryan Smith.