Review by C.B. Murray
THE JOINT is a part of the Theater for the New City Dream Up Festival. Written by Curtis D. Jones, Music and Lyrics by Timothy Graphenreed and Directed and Choreographed by Kenneth L. Roberson. There are some extremely talented seasoned professionals in this AEA Showcase who provide us with intimacy, laughter and a couple of show stopping moments.
Crystal Joy (Corrida) shines above all as the gifted daughter of a preacher searching to find her own way as a singer.
Sheila K. Davis (Queen) is captivating providing one of the show stopping moments in a duet with veteran performer Lee Summers (Hank).
There are some wonderful moments from Brenda Braxton, Richard E. Waits, Erick Pinnick and Albert Christmas.
The story written by Mr. Jones like many of his characters is peripatetic yet it never finds its way. This plot is very familiar with conflicts that are too predictable and resolves that have not been earned. The music by Mr. Graphenreed is unfinished. He has provided us with a couple of fun production numbers and pretty choruses but the arrangements are again too recognizable. Mr. Roberson finds a way to keep the show moving despite its apparent holes. I like the theme of this festival: Dream Up.
The Joint has potential. Showcases are meant to introduce new ideas for plays and musicals that have gone through a series of processes that will allow it to be presented in its best light. I believe The Joint may have missed or skipped a few steps in the process. It’s a good idea but it needs and deserves a chance to germinate behind closed doors with many incarnations of the script and music before being presenting again prematurely.