See it if Three plays set in Harlem, about life and hope.
Don't see it if Little slow at times but a lot of funny around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
See it if Spence's 3 one-acts on black experiences in 1920's Harlem are a trio of funny, insightful & carefully etched vignettes on life & morality
Don't see it if The tiny Metropolitan stage can get a little crowded w/all the spirited activity but Johnson's taut, scene changing staging keeps it fluid
See it if Wonderful and entertaining slice of life plays of Harlem in the 20s. Costumes are great and add to the general authenticity of the plays.
Don't see it if Dated dialog may be off-putting to some
See it if Three 1920s slice-of-life vignettes set in Harlem - hope, disappointment, violence, humor and resilience by the unheralded Eulalie Spence.
Don't see it if Slow, plodding, "well-meaning" - despite several vivid moments. Would that the brio of the scene changes underscored the one-acts as well.
See it if You'd like to peer back in time and see three very interesting one acts.
Don't see it if If you want one cohesive story. These one acts... Read more
“ ‘She’s Got Harlem on Her Mind,’ an evening of three of Spence’s one-acts...serves as another rebuttal to Du Bois. Each roughly 30-minute work, a slice of Black life packed with gender and class politics, is either a minute comedy punctuated with a tragic denouement, or a tragic mini-drama that resolves with breezy humor.”
“The plays, all set in Harlem, in 1927, and focussed on themes of money, marriage, and morality, conjure a set of fascinating sepia-toned images, sweetly and movingly evoking the laughs, loves, and language of that time and place.”
“Spence's body of work needs to be retrieved for both readers and adventurous theatre companies. Cheers to the Metropolitan Playhouse for shedding a light on a playwright we should all know more about.”
Back in the 1920’s, Harlem Renaissance author Eulalie Spence wrote a great many prize-winning one acts for which she could not get full productions. Metropolitan Playhouse is correcting that oversight by offering an evening of three of these entitled "She's Got Harlem on Her Mind." Unfortunately, they play like short stories rather than fully formed plays. As the characters are mainly grifters and con-artists, they do not show African-American life in the 1920’s in a very good light. A great deal of care and thought has gone into Timothy Johnson’s production which is set in 1927 including period songs between the plays and before and after, but his direction is often too slow and much of the acting is too studied to be naturalistic.
“These three plays were teasers of Spence’s work, leaving audiences wanting more. It would be great to continue to see more of her work produced.”
“What I liked about Ms. Spence’s plays is that they were real people living, with no apologies and no preaching. Love doesn’t always win, people can be sh*ts, but we keep going.”
“Taken together, these three vignettes of life in Harlem paint a well-rounded picture of people chasing dreams in whatever way they can.”
Blending humor with pathos, these three one-act plays are a valuable and affirmative document of the 1920’s Harlem Black experience and a testament to Eulalie Spence’s prowess as an unheralded dramatist. These works have been gloriously brought to the stage in this inspired and important production which is sparklingly performed.