I checked out Miss’N’Me last night.
Going Into It: I assumed it was all hip hop and full of urban speak, that it was for a different audience. I wondered who this audience was for, being that Sarasvati focused on women’s stories.
Watching the Play: It had a Waiting for Godot feel to it; a woman on a personal quest to connect with her idol. Many of the characters were projections of her mind as she travels in her husband’s van she hijacked. Watching Melanie Whyte’s character interact with her clownish parents, her husband’s mermaid girlfriend, her anniversary party planner, dealing with the anxiety of turning 50; I wondered about the writer’s voice of internal struggle and “sitting in the bathtub weeping”. This was definitely a story born out of a need to sift through Catherine Banks’ life at the time and it was fascinating. Every performer (Colin Connor, Kevin P. Gabel, Alissa Watson and the lead, Melanie Whyte), portrayed their characters with zest and spark, especially Colin and Alissa juggling their multitude of characters so distinctly.
After the Show: I loved seeing the relationship between Dawna and her son, played wonderfully by both Melanie and Kevin. The set looked like a challenge to create around such an existential story. I was facinated with the shrine that the son sat in front of, made of skateboards: 👍🏿. With the music of Missy “Misdemeanour” Elliot, I expected to be totally surrounded by music as though I were in a nightclub. All in all, a good show. Having grown up in a decade of hip hop and listening to Missy Elliot, I was skeptical about a white woman’s perspective on listening to hip hop. I hear so many other people tear down rap and hip hop, that I was surprised to hear of a play about how a black hip hop female artist influenced a fifty something woman and her journey through life. I had to witness it with my own eyes to find that out. Basically, if the lyrics grab you, you’re taken. I’ve been bewitched by Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana for months and various other artists that people are surprised to hear me mention. It’s also interesting what takes hold of you as a person: a particular movie, a TV show, a painting and music artist. Dawna had a reawakening when she listened to Missy Elliot and it moved her, enough to steal her husband’s van and take off to New York. I hope this play has you wondering what cultural influence has moved you. Maybe it’s this play, possibly the performances, maybe even the bubble wrap dress near the end of the play?
Watch and find out.