On one magical evening in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 26th, 2011 at 7:00PM, an author’s novel made the transition from the pages of a book onto center stage at The Orleans Hotel & Casino. What made this event even more special is that it was the first stage play ever performed in the showroom of this electric haven for seekers of instant wealth, and it was also within the month of February – a month dedicated to Black History.
Andrionna L. Williams spearheaded this groundbreaking event that brought people from all over the United States together, seating them under one roof to experience theater at its very best. Having networked with this energetic young lady for the past several months, I can attest to the fact that she is an ambitious woman who not only sets out to do something, she actually does it.
I had the opportunity to meet her face to face prior to show time, and it was everything I expected it to be and more. Her gentle, warm, and inviting personality captivated me at hello, and she thanked me for traveling from Northern California to support her first stage play ever.
In that I had given her numerous cyber-hugs throughout the year via Facebook, I made it a point to make good on my promise by giving her a real one, and told her how very proud I was of her and what she had accomplished. I also thanked her for giving me the honor of interviewing her and the entire cast of “In Laws from Hell” on my blog talk radio show “A Touch of Grace”, January 1st 2011.
With formal introduction out of the way, I found my way back to my seat beside a very good friend named “Kelly” who made the entire trip to Vegas possible for me (Thank you, Kelly-Belly). As we sat there in anticipation, waiting for the main event to begin, I scanned the room and observed an array of smiling faces indulging in pre-show conversations – many were friends and family who came in numbers to show their love and support. It was thoroughly one heartwarming moment in time.
The theater seated 800 people, and there were few empty seats which meant that the house was impressively packed and with a thunderous applause from the crowd, the lights dimmed, and the journey into the heart of Andrionna’s stage play production began. Over the course of more than two-hours, we were treated to the hilarious antics of a meddlesome mother’s quest to divide the union between her son and a daughter in law that she deemed as being too “boojie” for him.
As with any live production, there were minute periods when technical difficulties reminded you that you were, indeed, watching a live production, but they paled in comparison to the cohesive interaction between the talented actors and actresses on stage. There were tender musical duets between the beautiful leading lady and her handsome leading man that pulled us into their love and torment, as they fought to foil the efforts of family member’s intent on destroying what they had found in one another.
All of the songs sung by various cast members were original compositions created just for “In Laws From Hell”, and all vocal performances were strong and each singer held their own when they delivered. The audience’s applause and verbal accolades were clear indicators to me that they were being given what they had paid to see. The spiritual undertone of the storyline was undeniable, and it is what reached the core of all in attendance.
The comedic timing in certain scenes matched that of some of the most memorable moments in entertainment history. There was farting, pot smoking (The Mother and her cronies), raunchy dancing, humorous “capping” dialogs between certain cast members, but there were also intense dramatic moments when your heart just really went out to the two lovers. Every time that phone rang you just knew that old mama was up to yet another antic.
After the final scene the cast came out on stage and was formally introduced to the audience, and the last person who came out was none other than the radiant, phenomenal playwright herself, Andrionna L. Williams. She humbly thanked everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to come see “In Laws from Hell” – she thanked her mother, aunt, and children as well, for their undying support of all of her endeavors.
Her final question to the audience was “…how did I do my first time out?”
The thunderous applause answered that question perfectly.
Playwright, Andrionna L. Williams
“In Laws from Hell” Clip 1 on Youtube:
“In Laws from Hell” Clip 2 on Youtube:
The cast members of this play reads as a whose who of the entertainment community:
Mr. Debonair, Tony Grant of Tyler Perry’s “The Marriage Counselor”
Songbird, Trisha Mann of J. D. Lawrence’s “Clean Up Woman”
Jovial, Joy Lawshawn of Power 88
Straight Forward, April Tellis
Sweet & Serene, Gayla Allison-Murray
Comical, Otis Haley
Artistic, Treasure Tobin from the movie “Love & Basketball”
Down-to-earth, Tiffani Hendrix
Sassy, Karen Conrad
Beautiful, Brandi Brown
Optimistic, Makisa Davis
Handsome & Loyal, Robert Cox
Ms. Entertainment, Alicia South
Apparently the play’s success has spawned a tour, and so far Flint, Michigan and Reno Nevada have been confirmed as stops for the stage play “In Laws From Hell”.
Cities and Dates thus far:
Flint, Michigan To be announced May 7th, 2011
Reno, Nevada The Pioneer Theater End of May 2011
Los Angeles, California To be announced TBD
Author, G. D. Grace Literary Links:
“A Touch of Grace” Blog Talk Radio Show:
Author G. D. Grace reserves all rights and reproduction without written permission is not permitted. If found, legal action will be taken against the person(s) or company(s) that have cut or pasted (Plagiarized) any portion of this written document. Author, G. D. Grace; Published © 2011 March