March 12, 2016
By Dr. Leonard Golubchck, LaborPress Entertainment Editor
New York, NY – Eclipsed playing at the Golden Theater stars academy award actress Lupita Nyongo ( 12 years a slave) is one of a Liberian’s warlords wife who is a captive and lives in virtual slavery. This is a poignant play written by playwright and actress Danai Guriira (known as Michonne in the Walking Dead) and Directed by Lisei Tommy. Lupita Nyongo depiction is Tony worthy. The play is powerful and poignant.
The three wives have lost their identities and call each other wife number 1 and wife number 3. Wife number 2 is missing in action at the start of the show and Ms. Nyongo is simly referred toas “the Girl”. The three women lost their dignity, freedom, families and possibly hope which they try to maintain. Ms. Nyongo plays a fifteen year old girl attempting to survive anyway she can and is slated to become wife # 4.
The setting for the show is a ramshackle cinder block dwelling in a Liberian outpost which is controlled by the Liberian dictator Charles Taylor during the 1990’s civil war which concluded in the early 2000’s. The women are called wives even though they are sex-slaves to the rebel commanding officer. They are played adroitly by Pascale Armand (wife #3) and by Seycon Sengbloh (wife # 1).
Wife # 2 ( depicted by Zainab Jah) finally shows up and has been a warrior with the anti- Taylor rebels and as such will never be a slave again. At the end wife #4 becomes a fighter in the rebel cause and Ms. Nyongo gives a monologue relating to her enslavement and horrible conditions she faced as she goes off to fight for the rebvels.
This is a work about women and war and survival during a horrendous period in Liberia. This play resonates as to the cruelty and inhumanity of war.