At the performance I attended, the overwhelming majority of the members of the audience were of African-American descent and it was obvious from their response to the show that many, if not most, shared the gospel music tradition therein depicted. To that extent, they probably could derive even greater pleasure from this production than could the small minority of us there who do not share that heritage. But in a broader sense, this show has universal appeal in terms of the basic family values it espouses. White or black, Christian or Jew, Italian, Irish, Chinese or whatever â all can recognize, understand and empathize with the pain associated with a young daughter's loss of her father, with a mother's reluctance to let go of her child in a dangerous and uncertain world, and with a girl's desire to strike out on her own and follow her dreams. This show captured all that and music itself is, of course, universal. Singing was terrific across the board and Elijah Ahmad Lewis was extraordinary in his grace and dexterity. This musical is truly worth seeing. I have posted an expanded version of this review and reviews of several other Broadway, off Broadway, and off off Broadway plays on my blog www.aseatontheaisle.blogspot.com.
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