Black Super Hero Magic Mama is one of those plays that push through conventional storytelling into a realm of fantasy, intermixing real issues of the African-American culture in today’s society with a Super Hero Twist.
The first part of the play ripped from the headlines, deals with a mother’s loss after a police officer accidentally murders her son. The mother, Sabrina Jackson played by the talented Kimberly Hebert Gregory, is completely devasted and unable to function in her normal daily life due to the demands placed on her by the public who want her to stand up and fight against police brutality. With help from her best friend, Lena Evers, played by Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, she is comforted during this time of grieving but is having trouble moving past the first stage of grief. And as her world flips upside down, the media which is ever-present in the play is used to divide the American People further. With two reporters one villanizing the police officer for this brutal slaying of an African-American teen and the other side reporting on the same case as a simple misunderstanding, downplaying the death of the innocent youth. When part one ends we are left to wonder what will happen to Sabrina, will she be able to move on with her life?
Part two of the play takes a sharp right turn, as we now enter into a realm of fantastical Super Heroes, a comic book storytelling style taking place in Sabrina’s mind. The playwright, Inda Craig-Galván, uses her experience in sketch comedy to bring humor to the play primarily in the second half. At times we were reminded of the Wizard of Oz, as our hero Sabrina, or as she is known in this alternative universe, Maasai Angel, is thrust into a journey of self-discovery. All the characters she encounters are part of her life, and each is there to teach her a lesson on life and forgiveness. The play ends on a very impactful note and wraps up her healing to give us a sense of hope.
You can find tickets on The Geffen’s website, tickets range from $30 to $120.