To quote the rhymes of self-proclaimed God of Rap and new baby daddy, Kanye West, this Fringe production is all about the “single black female addicted to retail”. She is a 30-something-year-old, well-educated, beautiful, strong, and professional black woman. She bought the shoes on her feet, the clothes she’s wearing, and the car she’s driving– because she’s an independent woman– yet she can’t find someone to put a ring on it. Why is this so impossible for the middle class SBF?
Director and actress Letitia Brookes along with her co-star Gara Nlandu of Nu Spyce Productions present Single Black Female, a two-woman show exploring the trials and tribulations of a SBF looking for love in the 21st century, and their struggle to beat the ticking clock. The two SBFs– one a lawyer and the other a professor– weave in and out of various characters and racial stereotypes, from a ghetto sista freaking out on Jerry Springer, to an overbearing elderly aunt bombarding her niece with the question of marriage, to a crude horny man hollering at a woman waiting for the bus. These women do it all.
Although the majority of their performance is a comedic spectacle, the issues they address expand beyond mere dating struggles and shopping addictions. Their snippets of a day in the life of a SBF touch on class, racism, gender, and sexism. These two women have a humorous and witty dynamic, which in turn communicates their feminist critique on society in a way that is not radical or overpowering. Their production is simultaneously loud and sassy, as it is subtle and poignant. I commend these women for their ability to challenge common stereotypes of the black woman perpetuated by the media in a mocking manner that sheds light on the women in-between these extreme stereotypes.
For those of you who’ve considered skipping this Fringe performance perhaps because you’re not single, black, or female, I highly advise you against doing so. This play is not only intended for single black women to feel a sense of solidarity, but is an especially valuable production for women and men of all races to experience.
Amid my outbursts of laughter, I easily managed to find this performance thought provoking, eye opening, and relatable, despite being a white female. Feminism is not restricted to women, just as Single Black Female is not restricted to black women.
Single Black Female runs this week at the Mainline Theatre (just south of St. Laurent and Duluth). Here are the remaining show dates and times! Grab your advanced tickets here or buy them at the door. Don’t miss it!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 – 20:00
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – 23:30
Friday, June 21, 2013 – 20:00
Sunday, June 23, 2013 – 15:15