Hey MCC Theater, can you please cool it with the awesomeness?!?
The Off-Broadway theater company keeps putting up homerun after homerun, most recently Charm. This time it's School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a comedy about teenage girls at a boarding school in Ghana.
5 REASONS IT'S AWESOME:
1. Jocelyn Bioh's writing. In addition to making a name for herself Off-Broadway recently as an actress, Jocelyn is now setting the stage as a playwright with a big, bright future ahead of her, too. Her delicious writing is refreshingly earnest and heartfelt with robust, yet very accessible, characters. She accomplishes that very rare thing of making you laugh and cry at the same time...but mostly laugh!
2. Zainab Jah. Quite simply, there's something magical about her. You won't be able to keep your eyes off of her when she's on the stage as she delivers a pitch perfect performance as a former beauty queen who now recruits young women for pageants. Expect theater awards committees to take note of this incredibly special actress.
3. The Whitney Houston moment. Without ruining the surprise, the girls perform a Whitney Houston song in a ridiculous scene that brings down the house. You'll be doubled over in laughter at and in utter disbelief at how well this moment is pulled off.
Photos: Joan Marcus
4. Nabiyah Be. She. Goes. In! After wowing NYC in the original production of Hadestown at New York Theater Workshop, Nabiyah shines and sparkles onstage in School Girls. You won't soon forget her big moment, when tears are streaming from her eyes Ben Platt-style as she confronts the meanest girl in the school. Nabiyah 4 Prez!
5. Rebecca Taichman's direction. It's no wonder she won a Tony Award® for directing last season's Indecent. Rebecca finds the power in quiet and tender moments behind the main action that make the story robust and full of life without taking away from what's happening front and center. Yes, yes, and more yes to Rebecca Taichman!
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play runs through December 23.
Photos: We stopped into a rehearsal a few weeks ago and asked the cast, director, and playwright:
What would you say to your teenage self right now?
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There's a reason it won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical. It doesn't get fresher and more relevant than this!