A Taste of Honey is playing at The Pearl Theatre located at 555 West 42nd Street. It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission. The show closes on October 16, 2016.
The play first premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on May 27, 1958. It came to Broadway in 1960 with Angela Lansbury , Joan Plowright and Billy Dee Williams. Joan won a Tony Award in 1961 for the role Josephine. This is the first play by playwright Shelagh Delaney. It was written when she was 18.
Helen (Rachael Botchan) and her daughter Jo (Rebekah Brockman) arrive at their new apartment. It’s not the best of places with a cemetery and slaughter house in the area. Jo is not happy about the surroundings. She is 17 and her mother is 40. Her mother’s reply when she rants about it is that is the best she can afford. It seems they never stay in one location long enough for Jo to go to school or make friends. Helen was married and became pregnant during her marriage. However her husband was not the father and divorced her.
Helen is not much of a mother. She is more concerned about herself and her sexual life. There is no relationship between the two.
One of Helens lovers Peter (Bradford Cover) finds out where she has moved to. He proposes to her. She leaves Jo to live with him.
Jo meets Jimmy (Ode Otukoya) a black sailor. He proposes to her telling her he will be back when his tour of duty is over. They become intimate. Jimmy does not come back and Jo is pregnant.
She won’t leave the apartment.
Jo knows art student Geoffrey (John Evan Reese). He got kick out of his apartment. She invites him to live with her but he refuses. He won’t admit he is gay. He does move in and takes care of her until her mother shows up and wants to move back in. She kicks Geoffrey out without Jo knowing. Helen is not thrilled when she finds out her grand child is part black. She has a drink and Jo goes into labor.
Helen is the mother from hell. Jo is the daughter that’s paying the price for the lack of love and concern.
There are three musicians that sit on the coach in the living room. Sometimes they play music and in some instances the cast sings. It doesn’t add to the show. All I can say is it cute.
I like when Helen and Jo address the audience to tell them what they are trying to covey too each other.
This is an interesting play to see with underlying themes.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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