Black Pearl Sings

Where: San Diego Repertory Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego

Cost: $25 - $42

Age limit: Not available

Ongoing: until Sunday, December 17, 2017

A two-sided coin. Terrific music and a dull, plodding book (as if it began as a 90-minute sprint and the author expanded it with filler). It's 1933. Amid the Depression, Susannah Mullally, musicologist, wants to find and preserve African-American music before slavery. Her best subject: Alberta "Pearl" Johnson, incarcerated in a Texas prison for maiming an abusive man. As they form a semi-bond, the play touches on important issues of  race and gender, but with little drama or forward movement. When the talk, mostly bickering, stops, and the lights dim, Allison Spratt Pearce (Susannah) and Minka Wiltz (Pearl) sing a capella and soar. Pearce makes much from a one-note character, and Wiltz is an expressive wonder, voice, body, and soul. Worth a try.


Recurring dates & times

  • Sunday 2 p.m.
  • Sunday 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday 7 p.m.
  • Thursday 8 p.m.
  • Friday 8 p.m.
  • Saturday 2 p.m.
  • Saturday 8 p.m.


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