“One Woman, Two Lives”
The past may remain a distant companion, but it constantly creeps up on us, sometimes as an unwanted guest, sometimes, a ghost of what we were. The dichotomy is how we perceive it: friend or foe? These are some of the themes explored in One Woman, Two Lives penned by Alretha Thomas. Thomas’s focused intent is on illuminating the bonds of family, and how those bonds only strengthen when it is threatened. This is story of how the power of honesty opens the path for redemption for all involved.
The story opens with the beautiful Samantha Cooke (a charismatic Kellita Smith) caring for an equally beautiful and close family. Her husband Jonathan (Keith Bossier) is a well-known reverend who has an earnest devotion to his ministry. The house is really run by his mother, wily Edna (a glorious Esther Scott). She may impose her will on Samantha, but truly has the family’s best interests at heart. Their neighbors, Michael & Belinda Grey (Sammie Wayne IV & Sharon Munfus) also are closely tied to all matters of business and heart. All seems well until Melvin Foster (an absolutely magnificent Billy Mayo) pays a visit. He opens the wounds of Samantha’s past that she has successfully kept hidden. But not anymore.
This production is top-notch. A clever use of stage and blocking allows the audience to be completely immersed in the world of the characters. Denise Dowse’s direction opens authentic conviction from the performers. It is a sense of vibrancy that is deeply felt. This is a production that has emotional grace. Highly recommended.
“One Woman, Two Lives” runs through August 23 at The Imagined Life Theatre, 5615 San Vincente Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019. Call 626-858-1907 for more information or visit www.onewomantwolives.com