On Sunday afternoon Three Jewels was transformed into Decisions Play Festival. This was the second day of a 3-day fundraiser to help out Limitless Health Institute and Hurricane Sandy victims. Over $500 has been raised for a good cause while having a good time.
The afternoon started off with "Nigeria," a hilarious play for anyone who has ever received one of those spam emails from someone in another country claiming to be wealthy and in need of assistance. Writers Neil Rhodes and Qaadir Howard parallel a businessman's ongoing obsession with a Nigerian con artist with his love life problems.
Neil Rhodes and Qaadir's partnership on this story is a play in itself. Qaadir is a youtube star with his own hit page under the name, TIMAYA. Qaadir created the video I WISH TO GIVE YOU $250,000,000. "Nigeria" was loosely adapted from the video and has a lot of great potential to be expanded by the Rhodes/Howard writing team. Director Alexis Williams ties it all together nicely with a funny and daft cast.
Next up was Mariah MaCarthy's "A Really Good Mayor" about a woman victimized by a powerful mayor. A choice has to be made between being exposed to media attention. "Mayor" is a powerful drama by an exciting and emerging writer. MaCarthy is a Fringe Festival hit with "Magic Trick" and Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story." Director Laurie Strickland expertly paces out the taut drama.
Christopher Paul Moore's "Pearl Street and Climate Change" tackles the weighty topics of New York history, climate change, and political courage. The play is a professorial monologue about the sites and sounds of Manhattan throughout the ages. Surprisingly, "Pearl Street" is lifted by the poetic language and the power of the message. J. Julian Christopher's directions help cull out the transitions and quiet moments in tribute to old Manhattan that feels both like an obituary notice and a promise of a new day.
Wrapping up the festival was "I Miss Birth Control" by Jennie Berman Eng. The satirical dystopia takes place in an America where people have to create their own birth control and condoms from whatever vegetables, and animal skins they can find while dreaming of fleeing to Canada and grabbing a few Trojans. Director Adam Knight also shines in directing this comedy that hits all the right notes.
Monday is the last night of "Decisions Play Festival." The grand finale will feature all eight plays from both Saturday and Sunday.