THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Ebony Marshall-Oliver in \"Pretty Fire\"

Review: Pretty Fire | Jubilee Theatre


Burning Up

Ebony Marshall-Oliver's light shines brightly in the one-woman show Pretty Fire at Jubilee Theatre.



published Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In a time of growing absolutism, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that life isn't a series of extremes. Rather, it's more about the ebbs and flows, yin and yang, drama and comedy.

In Pretty Fire, playing at Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre, playwright Charlayne Woodard illustrates the serio-comedic nature of life through a one-woman recounting of her childhood during the Civil Rights era.

Though Ebony Marshall-Oliver and Shanidrea Evans are both cast as Woodard, the only role in the show, this particular performance reviewed featured Marshall-Oliver and will reflect on her performance specifically.

Pretty Fire is a demanding piece, a one-woman show in which the actress must play multiple roles and transition seamlessly between them for one-and-a-half hours. And to that end, Marshall-Oliver exceeds any pre-conceived expectations. Specifically, in how effectively she is able to differentiate between all of the characters, be they man or woman, young or old. Add in the sheer amount of memorization and characterization and Marshall-Oliver pulls off a stunning feat.

Of course, the source material does deserve plenty of credit.

Woodard's script flows well, transitioning from event to event very naturally. From family time in Albany, New York, to visiting grandparents in Dixie, everything feels in its place. Nothing is forced. As Woodard moves from generally carefree, even lighthearted, typical childhood moments into the play's few dark stories, it's not jarring. Whether it's in the writing or in Marshall-Oliver's performance, the end effect is that of a child, who may not fully understand what's happening to her, unable to put the pieces together.

There's an innocence to the delivery that tempers tragic events like a burning cross and a sexual assault. And if nothing else, it's so moving because Marshall-Oliver goes all out to deliver as authentic a performance as she can.

And kudos to new Jubilee artistic director, and director of the show, Tre Garrett. This show might seem simplistic on the outset. It's one character with a spare yet powerful set, bursting out of the stage (by Michael Pettigrew). David Lanza's sound design is spot on with a lot of prop and atmospheric sound effects. But, it's not an easy show to direct. Casting is paramount and a mistake there takes down the whole ship. And the simplicity of the setup could easily lull the director and crew into a daze.

It doesn't. Pretty Fire is uncomplicated, yet dynamic. Marshall-Oliver nails a virtuoso performance. Despite the negative connotation from which the title is derived in the story, Woodard, Garrett, Marshall-Oliver and everyone at Jubilee rise like a phoenix from the ashes of that fire, and use that fuel to burn brighter than ever. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Burning Up
Ebony Marshall-Oliver's light shines brightly in the one-woman show Pretty Fire at Jubilee Theatre.
by Kris Noteboom

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015 Amphibian Stage Productions Watertower Bruce Wood Dance Project Dallas Opera The Two Character Play Shear Madness Fiddler on the Roof Eisemann Center 2014-2015
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit