Critic-at-Large Laurie Stone reviews the work of four black women comics who recently shared the bill at New York City's New Professional Theater. They are: P.J. Jones, Kim Coles, Robin Montague, and Beverly Mickens.
Whoopi Goldberg's one-woman show leans heavily on celebrity impersonations and a character named Fontaine -- a black man who expounds on various social issues affecting the African American community. But these monologues are often divorced from narrative context, and lose their power. Critic Laurie Stone says she's more impressed by Goldberg's action movie roles, and what her presence in movie does for black actors.
Comic and actress Danitra Vance. She appeared on "Saturday Night Live" during the 1985-86 season. From there she landed a part in the revue "The Colored Museum," at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. She played everything from a stewardess on a slave ship to a talking afro wig. She's currently reviving the part at the Mark Taper Theater in Los Angeles. She can also be seen in the upcoming movie "Sticky Fingers," starring Melanie Mayron, Helen Slater and Christopher Guest.
Moms Mabley was a regular performer at Harlem's Apollo Theater, where actress Clarice Taylor saw her perform. Taylor, best known for her role in The Cosby Show, wrote and stars in a new play about the comedian's life.