(Los Angeles Times - June 17, 2005) "Sunshine for a Midnight Weary," presented by EMBODI
Entertainment at the Inglewood Playhouse, is a fine opportunity to see a dedicated acting ensemble ply
its craft. Director Angela Matemotja and her fellow performers infuse November Dawn's fiercely poetical
drama with affecting grace and candor.
Largely made up of loosely linked monologues, the play looks at the travails women of color confront in
their daily lives. Their yearning for light and meaning is a blatant connecting theme (a bit ironic, considering
that the gloomy lighting keeps the actresses in near-darkness for much of the time).
The subject matter is freewheeling, to say the least. Among the characters, we meet a lesbian confronting
the raw hatred of the "hetero world," a junkie trapped in the downward spiral of her addiction, and several
abused women whose anger has reached critical mass.
There's rage aplenty to be found in this desultory mix, but there's also humor, pathos and robust sensuality.
Unfortunately, Dawn's writing is occasionally overwrought and hackneyed. However, at its best, it takes
on the raw urgency of a Beat era poet, with the same sweeping, stream-of-consciousness tone.
Besides Matemotja, the consistently high-quality cast includes Tasia Sherel, Brandy Maddox, Tammi
Rashonda, Renee McSwain, Erica Pitts, Shannon Shepherd, Brianna Brown, and Baadja. The play's
emphasis on female bonding is appropriate. Indeed, these performers are so closely bonded in style and
commitment, they often seem to function as one organism.