It wasn’t my impression that it was the play writer’s intent for it to be a comedic drama, but that was attendees take away. At the very least, the consensus was that the play definitely did not tug our heartstrings the way the movie has.
I would say that overall everyone did a fine job, but if one person had to steal the show it was definitely Letoya Luckett. Luckett definitely embodied Vivica A. Fox and bodied the role of Frankie, from the film. Demetria McKinney, the woman who played T-T, was also consistent in her portrayal. Kayla Pratt was somewhat less believable in her role, but she did a decent job and became more fluid in her depiction as the play progressed.
Now, as for Da Brat playing Cleo, these were the times in which I laughed until I cried. During the entire play, I found myself missing Queen Latifah something wicked! There were moments when Da Brat shined as the character, but the void of what I knew I was missing never fully subsided. A friend I attended the play with made the argument that Da Brat was the comedic relief of the play, which was obvious, but she wasn’t the right person to play Cleo. And this is hard for me to say because Da Brat, Bow Wow, Romeo, B2K, and Aaron Carter (judge not) were the faces plastered on the walls of my bedroom as a preteen. I’m not sure if she would’ve been receptive, but Young MA would have been better cast in this role.
Overall, I can say that the play didn’t ruin the movie for me, but it’s also not something I will be rushing to see again. However, for nostalgia purposes, it may be worth checking out if it comes to your city!
-Ms. Malcolm Hughes