Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three Ways to Get a Husband- A Ghetto Play

I had the opportunity to see the play Three Ways to Get Husband, as a gift from my lovely sister (which was also her choice, I had to add). So I attended with her, my neice and mother and went in with low expectations.

And somehow, the play managed to sink even lower than I'd imagined a ghetto play could go.

*deep sigh* Ok, first the storyline was weak. Basically, it was about one woman's struggle and decision to choose between one ghetto dude who walked out on her to go into the military (played by Leon) and another ghetto dude whose sole purpose it seems was to rip off his shirt and expose his bulging muscles and chase her around the house, trying to get some (played by some really cut dude, cause there's always a really cut dude). Delightful, huh?

Next was the tackiest. It seems that whomever put this together decided in order to truly entertain blacks (cause who else would see this rubbish) was to stick in every black cliche, popular song, noted famed person and dance. During every scene change (and there were only 2 sets: and indoor and outdoor) They played an excerpt from some well-known black song. Then to top that off, they featured a character who was suppose to have schizophrenia and thought he was Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Jesse Jackson and other well-known black figures, spouting even more well-known speeches that we've all heard since pre-K. Tired.

Oh and the tree things it takes to get a husband. Sorry to spoil the whole play for you but the advice that Shirley Murdock (in the role of the big-weaved, wearing mama gave her lil redbone troubled daughter) was 1) always put god first (cause of course long as you have god, a good man will come!) 2) make his jealous and 3) LIE!. Yes, she did!

Course it all backfired as the daughter picked wrong and Shirley had to come correct with the play's only original song, pretty much contradicting the previous advice.

By intermission, I was so ready to leave.

But the worst part for me were the ploys to appease the audience which I found completely silly. During two parts of the play the crazy dude tried to get characters to sing the "Black National Anthem". And they were just as stumped as I was. Was it We Shall Overcome? Wade in the Water? After the character wa them stumped, he was let go and then offered another suggestion...cue about Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye. Seriously, they played this classic and all were happy. Either though the entire peice had absolutely NOTHING to do with the storyline. And neither did the 5-10 slideshow shown in the middle of national disasters and its victims, including Katrina victims, and ending with a message about making a difference, where while the message could vaguely be attached to the plot (1 character was displaced by Hurrican Katrina), was poorly executed, distracting and could have done without the gory, blood images (and the Stevie Wonder soundtrack). Also near the end Lenny Williams (who played the father belted out his hit Cause I Love You) To Shirley Murdock to lock in the audience. SPOILERS HERE:

During the wedding scene, the wedding song was of course Luther Vandross' Here and Now and for the grand finale the characters encouraged the audience to get up and We Are Family.

I was too through!

And what is up with Leon? Cause anytime he appeared on stage, e'erybody's mama liked to have a fit. Was he suppose to be fine???? Cause, um........naw! He wasn't. Just a really tall, thin, brown actor doing his best in an unfortunate play.

I will say this, it was great seeing Billy Dee Williams, whom I liked as a child, hearing Lenny Williams and Shirley Murdock. Great impersonations from Reggie Reg. And the rest of the cast was also good.

I also thought it was funny that Leon encouraged the audience to visit some website and tell them what we thought. Leon, you don't want me near your site. You don't want me on your forum and you don't want me near a comment box.

I'll stay riiiiiiigt here.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Skeptic said...

I've had the misfortune of seeing a couple of "Live Urban Dramas" in my day and I feel your pain.

Allow me to say about this production what I say about 99% of the books, television shows, and movies produced and catered to blacks; can't we get past these tires cliche's by now.
No, not every black person lives in the hood. No, all black men don't cheat. (I'm living proof of that). No, all black women aren't searching for a husband like Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. No, all black women don't have to settle for the dude that's least ghetto. And NO, I don't want to see, listen to, or read about the same storylines from every black creative production.
Tighten up and expand your boundaries beyond the urban drama people, please. We can make much better shit.

Not Your Average Male said...

HA! Hilarious!

I have been going to see Tyler Perry plays lately and unfortunately, he seems to play up the God and big, bulky, shirtless, evil black guy thing up in every play... however, he backs it up by putting together fairly entertaining pieces for my ocular consumption. If you can get past the pray-and-in-abundance-ye-shall-receive theories, it's all pretty enjoyable.

I just wish you could say the same about the play you saw. Thanks for the warning. Then again, if Leon were playing a crackhead ex-R&B star... who wouldn't wanna see it? They should think about it.

Erika 2004 said...

That was too funny!!!

My favorite part is two of the three rules; have god in your life and LIE. What? Is it just me, or do they seem to contradict, just a little?

Sounds like chitlin theatre at its finest!!! I wish these playwrights would realize that many of us black folks do not need every black cliche to be shown in one play to be entertained.

I try to stay far away from these plays. Too much of the same shit regurgitated, over and over again.

Eb the Celeb said...

Sorry you had a bad experience... I still love me some leon though... He knows he is a chocolate something of a man... and stuff like this is definitely not going to bring him to A-list!

Meatwad said...

Hooper: And Jedi's the most insulting installment! Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!

Banky: Well isn't that true?

Hooper: Muthaf**a!!!

Miz Motormouth said...

Yet another reason you need to get cracking on your script. Hell! I have a script from my own screenwriting days that I ought to dust off. Anything is better than the craptastic 3 Ways to Find a Husband. The title is insulting. As is the the contradictory notion to find God then use lies and trickery to land a husband. Why is this an acceptable product for any audience, let alone the Black audience? Why are we spending our hard earned money on this foolishness? How sad is it that our Black stars like Billy Dee Williams has to be reduced to make a living peddling this garbage. How even more disturbing that a misguided, oportunistic and probably Black writer penned this stereotype-laden, backward-thinking, common, low-rent excuse for theater entertainment. We can do better than this.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Skeptic said...

Meatwad, I JUST watched most of that movie today on my lunch break. Weird.

meatwad said...

Hehe. That's actually my least favorite of his movies, but it does have some damn funny parts.

Anonymous said...

Wait...there was supposed to be a storyline??? Hell, I only went to see it because I've been wanting to see Billy Dee in the flesh since I was 14 years old! LOL!

Kerry-Ann said...

It was a good play

syvee said...

I saw the play last night. I found it very entertaining. I'd see it again it given the opportunity.