HELLO AMERICA!—It is very obvious from the calls and messages received from many of my faithful readers that they were anxious to hear the outcome of the much touted Pre-Broadway play reading of “I Fell Sin Comin’ On.” Without exaggeration the Saban Theatre was packed with people who were anxious to see something new and exciting, even though “Sin” was only a staged reading, it met all the dramatic and comic expectations needed in a new work.
With the masterful performances of veteran actors Anna Maria Horsford, Marla Gibbs, Leon Issac Kennedy, Ruta Lee and new-comer Jason Holmes the audience experienced a journey of human discovery. The spine of the story was based on the relationship between Charlie and Sonny Lewis (father and son) closeting a secret which through the years was tearing the family apart.
Sonny unable to feel comfortable concentrating on the usual teenage interest escaped into the world of music and theatre which opened doors of hope and creative challenges making him feel alive and necessary. Because of the utter support from his mother (Grace), grandmother (Granny) and high school teacher (Miss Matthews) he was able to excel as an actor and musically challenging bigoted theatrical traditions of the 1950s.
Director Barry Creyton was able to effectively stage the “Reading” so it moved and erupted with the necessary drama and humor it needed. Featured actors: Ira Gold, Paul Mischeshin, Chad Ratto, Kirk Kelley-Kahn, Cassidy Risien, Wada Ray Willis, Martha Prosper, Alexander Abdul were perfectly casted, making one believe every word uttered on that stage. It was a complete “dream team” of gifted thespians who understood who they were creating as actors.
Producers: Michael Plaster, Steven F. Proctor, Anthony Liuzzi and Chris Pyle added much to the end result of the Staged-Reading. Others of the “Production Team” were: Gerald Gordon (dir.), Sally Thoun (PR), Chuck Graham (Ed.), Steve Harper (Ed.), Correy Harris (PR), Shane Robinson (PR), Jeffrey Nishimura (Ed.) Steven K. Proctor (PR), Ross Chappell and Max Farmer.
“I Feel Sin Comin’ On” proved to be a theatrical experience beyond expectations. It was an open door to emotions, exploring many things we sometimes feel we must hide. The production was dedicated to the memory of Oscar nominated actress Juanita Moore who was set to play the role of “Granny.”
Juanita Moore’s grandson, actor Kirk Kelley Kahn, cast member, accepted Certificates of Appreciation from the NAACP, Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and Adam B. Schiff Member of Congress.
By Michael St. John