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Hollis Mugley's Only Wish; Seeds Sold; Grey-Haired Smoochies With Rufus 

Three Short Plays by Keith Josef Adkins

Wednesday, Oct 11 2000
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This Intersection/Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience co-production of three short plays by Keith Josef Adkins makes for a fun, if thin, evening. Director Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe underscores the sitcom aspects of Adkins' writing by playing the themes from The Jeffersons and Sanford & Son during the curtain-raiser, Hollis Mugley's Only Wish. (The songs do sound great, though.) Hollis (Benton Greene) is convinced that pesticides and toxins are poisoning his family, turning his twins into super-smart kids with crappy digestion. He wants the household, including his pregnant wife Stephanie (Selana Allen), to cleanse themselves by fasting. Allen gets the biggest laughs, wearing braids in a sculptural do that resembles a teapot cozy. Stephanie commands Hollis to go to her mama's party, "'cause what we all need to do is come together Afrocentrically." (Allen gives "Afrocentrically" a hilarious, speeded-up emphasis.) Greene, though, pitches Hollis' fervor too high: He'd do better to relax on more of the lines. It's an odd piece, and Cooper-Anifowoshe has some trouble juggling the farce with the darker tones. Seeds Sold is a gentle monologue about gentrification and loss. Allen compassionately relates the good, quirky details of a woman selling the family home to a rich, white couple despite the protestations of her neighbor. Grey-Haired Smoochies With Rufus, the final story, is an uproarious farce about two septuagenarians meeting for some illicit kink. They have trouble getting it on because their cell phones keep interrupting with the non-sexy crises of their normal lives. Both Greene and Allen have a ball here, shimmying to Sisqó's "Thong Song" and complaining about the juiceless lives that await them at home. "When I die, it's gonna be from splittin' that bush," Green's Smoochin' Rufus proclaims. Not a bad way to go, and Smoochies is a great end to the evening.

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Joe Mader

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