Thursday, August 29, 2019

Lynn Nottage’s FABULATION 
OR, THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE

Fables and fairy tales are supposed to end happily when the poor little girl meets a handsome prince who whirls her away to a magic kingdom etc.
Fabulation tells that story backwards.  
Felicia Curry is Undine, the princess at the top of her own public relation firms in Manhattan…She has it all!… until  one by one, the threads of this life start to unravel.  Her  husband has spent all her money and is wanted by the FBI.  Bankrupt and pregnant, she goes back to the only place left where she started with her family in Brooklyn.
At a fast clip,  a fine cast of actors  appear and re-appear, in different roles. 
Aakhu TuahNera Freeman is her doped up wheel chaired Grandma as well an inmate Undine shares a jail cell with after she is arrested for trying to buy Grandma some drugs on the street corner.
Roz White is her mother and also some of her girl friends.   William T. Newman, Jr is her father who keeps hoping  for his lucky break  —also a Yoruba Priest, who performs traditional rites.  
Kevin E. Thorne II wear uniforms —first  as FBI Agent Duval, and then as her brother Flow who works as a security guard and is writing a very long endless work about Brer Rabbit.  
 Lauryn Simone is Stephie her assistant,  whom she bossed around and later meets mopping the floor in a drug store. James Whalen is her accountant who recommends she sees that Yoruba Priest (who was his roommate in college),  and he is also a professor in rehab.  
The complicated stories of Undine’s  past deeds unfold, and are wound together with concept of Sankofa (“go back and fetch it” ),  the Yoruban Deity Elegba,  European  tales of the water nymph Undine,  a nod to Edith Wharton who named a character Undine, and African American folklore  of   Brer Rabbit. 
Deemed magical realism, Fabulation is filled with the  real magic of  humans. While the show elicits sparks of laughter, its message is quite serious. The lesson like any beloved tale, well worth repeating, in this show well worth seeing.
Oh yes, Carlos Saldana as Herve, her cheating husband who starts this story, will return at the end as Guy, whom she meets in rehab.  There will be a happy ending or maybe a new beginning!
AT MOSAIC THEATER COMPANY until  September 22, 2019