Jerry Maple Jr. directs a cast that includes Latrice Bruno, Curtis Allen, Carey Hart, Dominick Daniel, Loye Hawkins, and Rosemary Cipolla.
Christine Dolen reviews for the Miami Herald:
I Ain't Yo' Uncle: The New Jack Revisionist Uncle Tom's Cabin runs through May 10th at The M Ensemble.
When an artfully antagonistic version of Topsy from Uncle Tom's Cabin kicks off M Ensemble's new show with a hip-hop rant about Harriet Beecher Stowe, you can't help thinking, ``This is going to be good.''
And whenever Latrice Bruno's politically aware Topsy is onstage in Robert Alexander's I Ain't Yo' Uncle: The New Jack Revisionist Uncle Tom's Cabin, the satire is good: tart, illuminating, deliciously comedic. But alas, Bruno isn't onstage often enough.
The larger problem is that playwright Alexander simply squanders too many opportunities for pithy satirical insight into the bestselling novel of the 19th century. Instead, the abolitionist tome's familiar characters -- Topsy, Uncle Tom (Curtis Allen), Eliza (Carey Hart), George (Dominick Daniel), Little Eva (also played by Hart), Simon Legree (Loye Hawkins) and the rest of Stowe's famous crew -- slog through the plot as though they're demonstrating to the defensive Stowe (Rosemary Cipolla) the myriad ways in which she got it wrong.
The production's dozen actors range from competent to good (Hart, Daniel and Allen) to the in-a-class-by-herself Bruno. She gets the tone, style and scale of her performance just right. If I Ain't Yo' Uncle were ever to become a solo show, Bruno would be the actor to hire.