Members say: Great singing, Delightful, Relevant, Quirky, Enchanting

About the show

Daniel Alexander Jones returns to Joe’s Pub as Jomama Jones, his critically-acclaimed alter-ego. Commissioned as part of Joe’s Pub’s New York Voices program, 'Black Light' is a musical revival for a turbulent time.

... Read more

Jomama leads an intimate journey – through the darkness of personal and political upheaval, and the shards of shattered illusions – illuminated by spontaneous humor. Set to pop, soul, rock and disco, this immersive performance piece strives to remove the barrier between artist and audience through inquiry, story, and song.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

65
The New York Times

"Besides ad-libs, she alternates, cabaret-style, between songs and convoluted stories. Her show incorporates biographical elements familiar to longtime fans...Paradoxically for a concert, the energy distinctly falls when Jomama sings. The star has quite the pipes and is backed by an adept band, but the songs tend to be pallid, hook-free lite funk and R&B...The songs lack the humor and wit of Jomama’s banter...By the end, the two narrative arcs meet, sort of, for a piercing conclusion." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"In the darkness there is a light, and Jomama shines it for everyone to see...She also has some priceless words of wisdom to convey for a country that very much feels at a crossroads...Jones has a talent for connecting the personal with the galactic, forcing us to step back and view everything that is happening in the world with perspective. All of this is delivered with the kind of irreverence and joy that only great drag can achieve...A vital show for our times." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

"Jones is a figure that mixes a heartfelt desire to heal with a striking sense of glamour. Her poise is regal and her impeccable diction gives a motherly warmth to her words of inspiration...Primarily an evening of inspirational jazz, pop, rock and blues songs...'Black Light' plays best as an enjoyable character sketch than as a theatre piece. But there's certainly an abundance of talent and sincerity populating the stage, so those seeking a spiritual uplift should feel right at home." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"A high-concept musical evening that reflects on a shattered mirror of black history. Jomama is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Although the original 'Afromystical' songs don’t always rise to the occasion, it’s a pleasure to bask in Jones’s sequined, oracular presence, especially when Jones allows us to see the pain and labor behind the all-but-impervious diva’s self-fashioning." Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

"I've seen many great performers at Joe's Pub, but few, if any, have taken over the room like Jomama Jones...'Black Light' is pure entertainment, a sly evening of songs and stories that catches you in a web of humor, real feeling, and contemplation...Jomama has no definitive solutions to offer, but her entertainment is inspirational, a balm for troubled souls that also manages to be tuneful and often wickedly funny...Jomama Jones is indeed a star, and she leaves a big impression." Full Review

80
New York Theater

"It’s hard to know what to call 'Black Light.' It’s an entertainment for certain. It’s also an act of healing and an act of warning in these turbulent times...Close to a cabaret show...But unlike the typical cabaret show, the headliner of 'Black Light' is a fictional character, Jomama Jones, portrayed by Daniel Alexander Jones...'Black Light' is not a drag act, not really...Jomama Jones is a thought-out, fleshed-out character, without a scintilla of self-parody or camp." Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

"The music has inflections of Prince, Sade, Diana Ross and Tina Turner, backed by a four-person band that is outer worldly. Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes musical direction is heavenly...Jones is a phenom, who has to be seen to appreciated. As Jomama she is a goddess who teaches with heart, sings with transcendental powers and offers her truth...You will leave the theatre feeling refreshed, rejuvenating with a belief that their is hope for humankind." Full Review

85
Talkin' Broadway

"For all the numerous costume changes and original songs that Jomama and her excellent band and backup singers perform, she is there to prod us into action, albeit with a warm smile and a velvet glove...Jomama's unique contribution here is the compelling stories she offers up...Jomama handles these stories in a genteel fashion, but each of them provides a potent lesson for anyone who is paying attention...A smart and compelling evening that will leave you with much to think about." Full Review

85
Towleroad

"With a deft mix of personal narrative, original song, and deep-rooted charisma, Jones conjures the sort of evening that slips on like a silk robe....With lyrics that stack up like the poetry of a freedom fighter, each number hits on some essential human truth...While the heart of 'Black Light' speaks most vividly to Black pain and resilience, Jones doesn't make distinctions, recognizing that near everyone has felt like they've been wandering through the shadows." Full Review

85
Daily Beast

"These stories and songs are witty and serious, thought-through, qualified, nuanced, and tricky. And so is the glamorous Jomama...There is a lot of questioning of the audience, a lot of questioning of herself, and what she has experienced, and what she knows and doesn’t know...Jomama offers no direct answers but many intriguing ideas and pathways to explore, and even more inspiring strategies around how to cope with the world we are in." Full Review

70
Village Voice

"In difficult times, Jomama Jones is an artist whose company you want...Jones’s call to action is a kindly one; songs ask us to do better, to imagine ourselves as seeds ready to grow...'Black Light' lives somewhere between a cabaret act and a more expansive theatrical work, and you might ultimately wish Jones would venture farther toward the latter, keeping the lightness of touch while allowing herself more access to the ominous depths." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

"Thus begins the unique show, 'Black Light,' which is a concert cum confessional. In her sequenced gowns--and there are five costume changes during the 90-minute performance--and with her red lipstick and frizzy, frazzled, dark hair, Jones sometimes provides a strong, alto voice for her intermittent songs, ranging from ballads ('Crossroads') to hard rock ('Life is motion')." Full Review

90
Stage Buddy

"Jomama is a creature full of warmth, vitality, and poignant stories. Bask in her radiance, and multiple costume changes...Her facility with storytelling can be partly attributed to a deep and soulful voice, a slight affectation coloring every word. Her wit and humor fill in the rest...'Black Light' may begin as a cabaret but it turns into so much more--a show that asks questions of its audience and allows them to open up to the possibilities of performance." Full Review

85
Stage Left

"The lyrics are dense...which is unfortunate because the big ideas and thoughtful connections that abound in this taut cabaret act of a show cannot be fully appreciated in real time...An incandescent evening of song and story...rich in meaning and message...'Black Light' is a wickedly funny, painfully revelatory, and poignantly beautiful exploration of race, identity, gender, power, history, change, and community that is perfectly calibrated for these turbulent times." Full Review

80
Theater Pizzazz

"Deep ease and gentle grace of Jomama Jones...Part memoir, part fairy tale, part history lesson, part song cycle, and pure entertainment...Two adorable and beautifully-voiced young men, Trevor Bachman and Vuyo Sotashe, move and sing with Jomana to flesh out the life of her stories...In life and in Jomama’s art we find love in truth and light in darkness." Full Review

85
Front Row Center

"The band is wonderful and Daniel and the other singers have strong beautiful voices. Daniel’s range is amazing, or maybe Jomama has the smoothest most natural sounding falsetto I’ve ever heard. The songs themselves are not memorable. Most are very wordy and lack the repetition, both lyrically and melodically, that is needed to walk out singing or humming a tune. 'Black Light' is fun and meaningful. A necessary reminder of all that we still have to fight for." Full Review

85
Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production "Jones is a human fireball, emitting charisma, witty bon mots, stunning vocals, and sex appeal...Jones is passionate about pushing his community to resist cynicism and nurture hope...Through Jomama's eloquent persona, he presents this message without mentioning any particular political leaders or parties, policies, or agendas. But the message is delivered, wrapped in beauty, sex, wit, humor, and abundant artistry." Full Review

80
TwinCities.com

for a previous production "Jomama stands tall and offers stories from her youth, flirts with men in the audience, offers a 3-step plan for getting us through these tough times—and sings up a storm...She has a larger-than life diva personality with a bit of humor thrown in—however, she’s less campy and more real...Jomama’s musings often make telling segues into her songs. Jones is credited with helping to write all of the numbers—featuring some likable melodies and intriguing lyrics." Full Review

80
Star Tribune

for a previous production "'Black Light' looks loose and improvised on the surface. It has spoken word, music, and bible-style parables drawn from Jomama’s childhood...The music itself spans genres...These head-bobbing numbers invite participation...The show functions more as a healing tonic, offering soulful reassurance and helping to center listless souls...In Jones’ case, his storytelling art is not so much a lie as a dream—one that confronts fear and fright with a show radiating gorgeous light." Full Review

85
How Was The Show

for a previous production "More than just a fun night out...Jones, who created the show and inhabits the lovely and astute Jomama, offers the audience both solace and a proposal for the next four years...The show is anything but glum agitprop theatre and Jomama is no cold, unapproachable diva. She’s a muse, an inspiration and she knows how to amuse. Vibrant songs and funny stories abound in the 90-minute show...Jones shines a light into the dim corners of the future." Full Review

85
Cherry and Spoon

for a previous production Jones in 'Black Light' was exactly the balm I needed at this moment in time. Telling stories, singing, and performing, she made me laugh, she brought tears to my eyes, she made me believe, at least for a little while, that there is a light at the end of this tunnel...She's a marvelous performer, but her greatest talent is as a storyteller, captivating the audience with stories from her childhood...In just 90 minutes, Jomama entertained the crowd and took us on a journey." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

86
Funny, Moving, Great singing

See it if You like a mix of song and personal story in your theatre.

Don't see it if You don’t like cabaret.

80
Delightful, Refreshing, Charming, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see a gifted performer hone his singing/storytelling/drag skills in an endearing, inspirational evening of escapism & hope.

Don't see it if you're too cynical to hold the hands of strangers around you & make a 1-person show into a sincere communal exhortation of love & acceptance

Also Although this show closed last night (3/25), if Daniel Jones brings hi... Read more Read less

95
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you appreciate a create satiric attack on our current political tragedy and want to be uplifted.

Don't see it if Everyone should see it .....

80
Exquisite, Thought-provoking, Profound, Dazzling

See it if you're ready to go deep as the imcomparable Jomama Jones takes you to church

Don't see it if you are already confused or are still asking "I don't know...what's it about?"

85
Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky, Relevant, Inspiring

See it if Anecdotes and music connect past injustice and activism to the present. 6-piece band plays catchy R&B. Lively audience participation.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy R&B, soul, & ballads. You don’t like drag acts. You won’t be inspired by the courage to stand up to injustice.

81
Delightful, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you'd enjoy a sparkling cabaret with a strong element of witty storytelling; Jomama draws you into her character with grace & charm

Don't see it if you expect powerful B'way singing or dance; don't enjoy drag (although Jomama felt very real/feminine to me); the stories are the heart here

74
Dizzying, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if You want to see a very beautiful and personal cabaret with lots of sparkles. The story telling was wonderful, the songs weren't the best.

Don't see it if You don't like drag shows or songs that don't quite get you going. It definitely feels a little indulgent, but worth it if you go with it.

80
Enchanting, Quirky, Relevant, Indulgent, Great writing

See it if if you enjoy a topical musical cabaret performed by Jomamma Jones who tells stories and sings songs tying stories by end of the performance

Don't see it if 90 minutes of a man in drag who tells stories that are chopped up and told through songs that are not very good but set in 1990 R&B

80
Great singing, Nuanced, Tender & wise cabaret, Bravely personal

See it if Lovely stage show for those who may not like cabaret. Daniel Alexander Jones' Jomama persons references the world at a crossroad as well as

Don't see it if her own memories in song and story. A little slow & plenty of spangles, but affecting.

85
Absorbing, Delightful, Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to be uplifted, even for a short time. Jomama Jones tells childhood stories and sings beautiful and insightful songs.

Don't see it if You don’t like performance artists or feel-good shows.

87
Mesmerizing

See it if You enjoy a master storyteller backed by good music. Jojama Jones is pure magic

Don't see it if You don't want to be thoroughly entertained

90
Entertaining, Warm, Topical, Great musicians, Alive!

See it if Contemporary-themed North of cabaret/ South of "A Play in Three Acts" sounds like fun - this was fun for me. Daniel Ar Jones is great.

Don't see it if You think things are just fine and have little time for a show that says not so.

51
Quirky, Banal, Disappointing, Overrated, Choppy

See it if you want singing and story-telling. But, I found no connection between the two. Stories banal--the big surprise story not properly tied in.

Don't see it if you want a coherent production where the stories are well-written and the songs add something to to the story and vice versa.

91
Delightful, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you appreciate a magical performer, reflecting on how to take on this world we're living in.

Don't see it if you don't want to hear from a queer POC, you don't want to think about the time yet to come, you don't like sequins.

89
Delightful, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Witty, Great singing

See it if You are open-minded and would enjoy seeing a talented singer, storyteller in an engaging ninety-minute show.

Don't see it if The idea of RuPaul meets Tennessee Williams does not appeal to you.

Also My date and I had a wonderful night. Jomama Jones is an exceptional pe... Read more Read less

53
Resonant, Indulgent, Confusing, Slow, Great singing

See it if You like existential musings about life’s journey sung to an R&B soundtrack.

Don't see it if You don’t like drag.

83
During previews
Relevant, Resonant, Good hearted

See it if Daniel Alexander Jones is charming as Jomama. Wise, inspiring, witty. The pacing is a bit slow, but still a lovely evening.

Don't see it if Don't like drag, don't like a slower paced show. Prefer to figure out the point of an evening as opposed to being spoon fed it.

Also The many costume changes also slowed down the pacing. I would have pre... Read more Read less

86
During previews
Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Great singing, Immersive

See it if you like a combination of a Prince concert meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but in a more intimate setting.

Don't see it if don't like holding hands with strangers or shows that expand race and gender identities.