Monday, August 17, 2009


Photos by Ma'atology

RIGHT: Marty Casey Entertainment's Gwen Jackson welcomes the crowd the play. LEFT: Hot 104.1's Tony J hosted the play.

LEFT: One of the earlier scenes in the play with lesbian Rita (Alicia Moseley), Big Sexy (Maxine Elbert), sex kitten Candi (Seviin Li) and dimwitted alcoholic Angie (Darlene Dues) who play four childhood friends. In this scene Big Sexy prepares for her b-day in a dowdy dress as a present as she celebrates her newly divorce from her husband, John.

Elbert and Li in a confrontation about Elberts' weight.

Dues and Elbert in a scene.

"Call me chubby, fluffy..........but don;t call me fat!"

Sexy's ex-husband John (played by Darick Patterson) pays a visit to her apartment.

John tries to woo Big Sexy as she gets nauseous of his attempt.

One of the boutique scenes with Asian worker Ching Ling played by Whitney Woods

Woods character poked fun at the only thing that Big Sexy could wear in the store were earrings.

One of the friends scenes including Elbert, L.A. Williams ( who played childhood friend Tony), Dues, Moseley and Li.

Sexy in an animated scene with Li.

Sexy in a moment.

Shelly Miller played Tavia, the club singer at Club Klymaxx.

Miller and Elbert in a scene about their involvement with sadistic club owner, Rico (played by actor Terell Carter)

Terrell Carter and Elbert.

Carter's character physically handles Miller's character demanding her to "act right" on stage.

Miller and Elbert in one of the musical numbers of the show performing Keyshia Cole and Monica's "Trust."

Miller, as she singing, "Just Fine" by Mary J Blige. sang to the cast as well as in the crowd.

In one of the SCENES of the play, Big Sexy catches Candi canoodling with Rico resulting in an shock dropping fight scene!

During intermission, Tony J and Cafe Soul co-creator Angie Brown take a flick.

Elbert in a non-verbal soliloquy on self loving herself.

At the club, Rico sings as extra cast member, Sonia Brascomb (who was the understudy to Elbert) "gets the feeling."

Crowd members got in the act as women walked up to the stage to sing with Carter.

One of the side stories was Tony starting to romance Big Sexy.

A scene after Big Sexy and John made love and her ex-husband coming over to win her back.

The curtain call had the cast dance part of the "Thriller" dance.

Elbert gettin introduced and lauded.

The writer and director of the play Marty K. Casey gettin introduced and recognized on stage.

Casey told the crowd that opening nite was the very first time the play had been staged, that it took her two days to write the play and that it will tour in the near future.

Elbert and Casey preparing to embrace each other.

Carter signed autographs for fans.

Elbert poses with supporters after the show.

NOTE: Overall, Phat Girls Don't Cry, which played at the Ambassador last weekend, was very entertaining. Elbert, who played the title role of a newly divorced mother is excellent and put on a very engaging performance disengaging the unhappy-and-fat woman-syndrome with sass, wit and intelligence. The supporting cast was also good (especially Darlene Dues as the ditzy friend Angie) and played well with Elbert.
Headliner Terell Carter of Tyler Perry's plays, who played the sexy yet sinister club owner, was mainly in the play to draw the female crowd to the seats. Other than that, his role was minimized as eye candy and to sing for the ladies (one song in particluar "Thick Girls'").
One character though was a bit hard to swallow which was Ching Ling, played by Whitney Woods (without Asian makeup), who the Asian boutique worker. Her pit of insults to Elbert and Chinese stereotypes (doing karate, smiling and mouthing words before speaking words come like a translated karate movie) was funny but the characterisms fell a bit flat.
It was refreshing to see another subject matter--being overweight--being raised in the urban drama stageplay genre. Although some of the stage antics were still there that follow these plays (fat jokes, over expressed mannersisms, God-is-the-wayisms through song), but what distinguishes Phat Girls from the plethora of other plays is the other subject matters it speaks on including HIV, homosexuality (without the homophobia), and, of course, plus size beauty.
With a few more draft polishings and edits of the script, Phat Girls could definitely have the potential to be a breakout hit on the urban stageplay touring market.

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