Reviewed by Nikelle Marier
Two worlds. One girl. Check out this story with heart.
Church Girl, written and produced by Angela Barrow-Dunlap, is an amazing play with a great story and outstanding performances. I had the opportunity to meet and photograph the cast recently at the Sony Centre For Performing Arts. The cast includes Robin Givens, Karen Clark-Sheard, Demetria McKinney and Clifton Powell to name a few.
Based on a true story, the lead character, Emily Franklin (played by Demetria), is introduced as an innocent girl living at home with her mother, a respected church pastor. She is seduced by a boyfriend who draws her into his dangerous world and convinces her to engage in questionable behavior. She somehow manages to maintain a facade of innocence to her religious family, until her secret is dramatically revealed. After a lot of heartache, and a near death experience, she eventually returns into the loving arms of her family and the sanctuary of her church.
The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, as you watch her two worlds collide in a highly charged and emotional conclusion. It leaves you considering the impact of negative choices and reminds us that it is never too late to start over and make positive changes. Sometimes we choose to go down the wrong road, but with the help of a strong support system and a belief in a higher power it is always possible to get back on the right path.
It is the responsibility of all of us to help our loved ones, be there to support them and be honest with them when you think they are making mistakes. The play sends this very strong message, especially to fathers. Fathers need to protect their little girls and treat them with respect, so that when they grow up they expect nothing less from their partner.
There were so many heart touching and memorable moments throughout the play. Clifton Powell played his part to perfection and Angela Winbush blew the audience away singing her song “Angel.” Church Girl had me laughing, clapping, singing, wiping tears and at the end I was on my feet cheering.
Micheal Charles, from Profile Entertainment Inc., will be bringing another Angela Barrow-Dunlap stage play, Why Good Girls Like Bad Boyz, to Toronto soon.
Don’t miss it!