Image for Theater not yet available Reviews and listings of Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway 8 Free Issues
  • Search:
  • Critics' Pick
  • Time Out New York / Issue 631 : November 1, 2007 - November 7, 2007
  • Review
  • Hoodoo Love
  • Cherry Lane Theatre. By Katori Hall. Dir. Lucie Tiberghien. With Angela Lewis, Marjorie Johnson, Kevin Mambo, Keith Davis. 2hrs 20mins. One intermission.
    PUFF MONEY Johnson, sitting, gives Lewis love advice.

    “Bad men stay, good mens go away,” says the pipe-pulling conjure woman Candy Lady (Johnson) to feisty but lovestruck young Toulou (Lewis). Luckily this hoary bit of prefeminist folk wisdom isn’t the last word on the subject in Katori Hall’s vibrant new blues song of a play, set just outside of 1930s Memphis. Not only does the matter of male meanness get stirred into a thick pot of mojo, but Hall adds a caveat to Candy Lady’s maxim: A smart woman can hop that freight train, too.

    The small, spirited Toulou yearns for the exclusive attentions of wandering bluesman Ace of Spades (Mambo), and she figures that the occasional duet onstage or in bed isn’t enough to keep him around. So she turns to Candy Lady for some time-tested man-baiting witchery. In a sequence both slyly irreverent and sneakily evocative, the old bat describes a hoodoo recipe so convoluted it’s funny. (One surefire ruse: “Put some of your ministration in his coffee.”) Laugh she might, but Toulou takes the bait and is soon paying a steep, if not quite tragic price for her desires.

  • Article continues
  • Advertisement
  • Hall has a knack for tasty wordplay and nudging argument, and she writes richly for both men and women, as in a series of strutting card games between Ace and Toulou’s seedy preacher brother, Jib (Davis). This last character introduces an ugly strain of abuse that’s not quite digested into the play’s moral metabolism. Still, this is a major debut by a playwright with a spring in her step, as well as kick.

    Rob Kendt
    • Post your comments now
    • User *
    • Email * (will not appear on site)
    • *mandatory
  • |
Subscribe to Time Out New York Subscribe now for only $19.97! Get the week's full listings on where to eat, what to see, who to meet and why to be so happy to be a New Yorker! You'll get a full year of TONY delivered to your door, and when you pay now, you'll get exclusive subscriber-only access to our searchable website!
  • Subscribe Now
  • First Name
  • Address 1
  • City
  • Zip
  • Last Name
  • Address 2
  • State
  • Email
Time Out New York respects your privacy. We will only use your email address in order to contact you with regards to your subscription and to send you our weekly e-newsletter. We will not share this information with anyone.
If you're not completely satisfied write "cancel" on the bill, return it and owe nothing. Otherwise, you'll receive 51 issues for just $19.97. (Domestic subscriptions only. For Canadian orders, click here. For all other foreign orders click here.)
Click here for information regarding an existing subscription.
Gift subscriptions
Copyright © 2000-2007Time Out New York | Site map | Privacy policy | Subscribe | Advertise

Email a friend

Your Name:
Your Email:
Recipient's Name:
Recipient's Email: