“That Hoochie,” written by and starring Shoshannah, is a one-act, one-woman play directed by Antaeus M. Gayles. Shoshannah as Shovanda Thomas is presumably in a therapist’s office, sitting in a chair, relating her life story. The only problem is that she is hard to understand half of the time, because she delivers her lines in a loud, high shrill voice with a Southside Chicago street dialect. That said, the partisan audience laughed frequently.
She’s much better in the many characters she assumes, from a high-class woman to a sexpot, the costume changes are done in blackouts, some long, some short. The costumes are well-made and suit the character. She also turns into her two boyfriends, Rico and Terence, and as a boy she is unrecognizable. And more than that, she can be understood because she lowers her voice and enunciates her words. She brings to life her cousin Juanita who goes with her to nightclubs to meet men and to forget her troubles, which include three small children at home. The flashing lights of the nightclub, the blackouts, the crying baby in one scene and the “Good Times” theme song, are all done by an expert sound and lights designer. Shoshannah is easy to look at, with a striking figure she flaunts around the stage. As an actress she is effective deploying her state of being a single mother of four kids, who are fathered by three men, and acts out a convincing rape scene in the bathroom of a club.
“That Hoochie” is at the Write Act Repertory Theatre, 6128 Yucca Street, Hollywood. Performances: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m., ending March 31. Tickets: $15, or $10 for groups of four or more, seniors and students.