by Neal Weaver
(LA Weekly - June 9, 2005) Sunshine dominates the title, but it’s the darkness that prevails till almost the
end of November Dawn’s choreoplay, which eloquently celebrates the strength of black women and
anatomizes their miseries and travails. Written in verse and rhythmic prose, it takes a sharp look at
poverty, dead-end jobs, drugs, male violence, and homophobia, judgmental church ladies, black men
obsessed with white women, and AIDS. The Chopin Funeral March provides a grim prelude, followed by the
nine women chanting in the darkness, "Give me some light so I can see!"
Light and darkness provide the central metaphors, in subtle as well as obvious ways: Though light
illuminates, it also reveals unwelcome truths. One sometimes sympathizes with the character who says,
"I get tired of all the sob stories," but at its best, the play generates real power — particularly in the tale
of a mother (director-choreographer Angela Matemotja) who discovers her man has seduced her retarded
daughter while she was out working to support them. Matemotja leads her cast (including Tasia Sherel,
Tammi Rashonda, Brandy Maddox, Renee McSwain, Erica Pitts, Shannon Shepherd, Baadja and the
one Caucasian, Brianna Brown) in a deeply committed, highly charged performance.