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Expectations in love produce all sorts of stimuli, including the frustration of trying to fit a square relationship into a well-rounded package. You can work at beefing up pseudo compatibility, allow secret motives to distort the quality of resonating or face it sideways until you see it straight.
That is the revelation embedded in the delightful, intriguing storyline of Judi Ann Mason's "Indigo Blues," a romantic comedy now playing at the Black Spectrum Theater through Nov. 21.
Billie Holiday's haunting melodies play in the background, signaling anticipation of bittersweet drama. The setting is the home of the Beaudreux sisters, Muriel and Clara, and theirs is a warmly lit country home located near a graveyard, which discourages visits from neighbors and friends.
As the play begins, Clara and Muriel have just buried their only brother. With Momma and Daddy dead long ago, all the sisters now have left are each other and family heirlooms.
Clara is the prettiest of the two sisters: fair skin, long hair, tight body and all. Years later, she is still believing her own hype despite her aging assets. She has been married three times, one of her ex-husbands being sister Muriel's former flame Moses, whom Clara lured away from her sister and tricked into marriage.
Muriel is a plain Jane, covertly vibrant in spirit, despite repressing her passion for singing the blues. She gave in to her father's demands and relinquished her dreams, that is, until her brother dies. Following her brother's funeral, she vows she will cry no longer. For 30 years she has longed to sing again with Moses accompanying on the horn. Just as she finds the courage to leave home and resurrect her singing career, to her surprise, former boyfriend Moses emerges.
On its face, the story would seem predictable: which sister will take the "prize" and who will be the next family member to be "laid to rest." The writer does a terrific job of interjecting subplots, minus a convoluting effect. There's simply more meat on the darker side of this drama than there is humor. Erotic scenes in the triangle are woven into a moving love story that warms your blood.
The cast is superb. It would seem difficult to disguise actress and singer Patsy Grant as the timid Muriel, but here it works. She is a dynamic vocalist with strong acting ability.
Christine Campbell's studious approach to the role of Clara is convincing, taking the audience on an involuntary emotional
roller-coaster ride. However, the call of the wild, as you will inevitably see, is a segue to an even greater performance by Chris Noble as the debonair saxophone player Moses, outwitted by his passions. He shines through as a multi-dimensional actor and musician. "Indigo Blues" is a must-see.
Black Spectrum Theater is located at 177th Street and Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica. For more information, call 723-1800.
©1999 Community Newspaper Group
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