By Rick A. Elina
Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” The reverse, however, might be said about writer/director Chris King, a man whose genius is 100 per cent inspiration from the highest order. Mime-Cert is inspired storytelling in a unique fashion. This expansive theatrical medium involves not only acting but also incorporates mime and music to complement the performance. The resulting mime concert or Mime-Cert is actually the brainchild of three men, who coincidentally, are all named Chris. Mr. King, along with Chris McKinney and Chris Dunn are members of the historic Toliver Chapel in Waco, Texas and the idea came to them in 2005 as they planned a birthday celebration for their Pastor, Reverend Jimmy D. Hunter.
I Say Yes! written by Mr. King is a riveting story that unfolds across a broad multilayered landscape. Life’s harsh reality is the theme that provides the beating heart for this show’s stirring message. And it’s a message that will truly reach into the inner soul of each and every person who attends. The event that sets the trajectory of the story in motion, involves Dee (Sarafia Macy), a young unmarried mother who is rejected by her baby’s father, Jules (Adrian Scott). Ms. Macy gives an incredible performance that instantly pulls in the audience as an accomplice to her pain. Jules’ initial indifference and cavalier attitude towards his paternal responsibility could almost be written off as a cliché, but Mr. Scott’s restraint and skill as an actor prevents this from happening.
Mama Pearl (Fredna White) is Dee’s devout mother. The marvelous Ms. White exudes a matriarchal passion that leaves one with little doubt as to just how far Mama Pearl would go to protect her own. Her defiant encounter with Satan, also played by Mr. King, will prove my point. Rounding out the cast is Dee’s sister Dawn (Tanikqua Young) and Dee’s erstwhile panderer, Taurus (Min. Fredericc Brock). Ms. Young along with Ms. White deliver some of the more memorable and often comedic lines of the play.
And lest we not forget, there are mimes. Mimes who enter and exit the stage with a grace and fluidity that’s visually astounding. Expressionless faces that express volumes, they move like the purest poetry synchronized to the motion of silhouetted hands and bodies. In addition, the mimes provide some of the more poignant and symbolic gestures of the show. One of which is truly heart stopping.
I Say Yes! is a show in which you will laugh and cry and be inspired. The music is joyous and uplifting. The combined energy of this cast is infectious and palpable and easily spills over into the audience. Mr. King’s directorial vision is indeed 100 per cent inspiration that will leave you with 100 per cent realization that God is present in all situations. This show is a must-see!
I Say Yes! is being performed at Friendship Baptist Church, 4396 Main St., The Colony, Texas. The sole performance is on May 2, 2009 at 1pm, doors open at 12 Noon. Visit Mime-Cert.com or call Friendship Baptist Church at (972) 624-3000 for more details.
Rick A. Elina is a playwright and theatre critic for the North Dallas Gazette.