Sister –A Black Woman’s Fight For Dignity - A Theatre Review




Graceful, angry, passionate and funny, the star of Sister, written and directed by Michael Phillip Edwards, Erica Gimpel performs this one woman show with many different voices and personalities as she walks the thin line between beautiful and something totally different.  


The minimal scenery at first made me wonder, but as the 70 minutes of the play progressed, it all fit in.   I was a little put off and confused with the poetry at the beginning and was starting to wonder about the nature of the evening, when the real story started.  Erica, as a black young woman Denise aka Sapphire, struggles to survive in Hollywood as a would-be actress, but has to supplement her income in less than desirable ways. Survival is the key here.


While the story's a bit disjointed, it comes together beautifully and Erica holds the structure together with her inspired performance. 


Spoiler alert - A twist comes toward the end that will surprise you, and I had almost expected the attack would turn the play into a murder mystery, but it didn't.  However, it follows realistically with the story. 


Erica Gimpel


Produced by Susannah O’Brien, PhD, is an accomplished writer and director in her own right,  and has her own company Sahara Vision.  She has combined forces with Jeff Murray, the artistic director of Theatre Theater to develop this and other excellent plays. 


Erica Gimpel, who plays all the roles, reminding me a bit of Valerie Harper’s marvelous performance in Golda, is internationally known for her role of CoCo Hernandez in the TV hit Fame and has starred in other shows as True Blood, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy among other things.  A singer and dancer, she’s also wrote and created Soaring Into Freedom. 


Sister - Erica Gimpel and Michael Phillip Edwards

An award winning writer-producer and director, Michael Phillip Edwards has also acted.  His play, RUNT, made him the first black writer/performer to win at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Besides directing this play, he has also been involved in seven feature films, including Haunted Jamaica.  He is definately one to watch for the future and I look forward to seeing his other play, Blood, also showing at Theatre Theater on different days and times.


Steward Hollins managed the stage and the lights while Tuesday Conner did the limited costumes. 


There will be no late seating, so please come on time. 


Theatre Theater is located at 5041 Pico, 90019 (cross street La Brea.)  There is parking on the street.  Cost of the tickets are $25.   Performances occur at 2 pm on Saturdays and 7 pm on Sundays through until April 5, 2015. 

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