The cast of “Love Game” after their stellar performance. (Courtesy photo)

Presented by CBG Arts & White Hall Arts Academy, on Saturday, April 13th, guests filled the Hudson Theatre Coffee Shop in Hollywood to enjoy writer and director Brandon Rainey’s (B Rainey Productions) latest production, Love Game. This urban stage play was written and directed by Rainey, conceived by Justin Walker, Joshua Joseph, and Rainey, production managed by Howard University Alumni Jonathan Lucas, and featured a very talented cast.

Saturday’s program was “HBCU night” and the show’s second performance. Additional nights included Friday, April 12th, Sunday, April 14th, and closing night, Friday, April 19th.

Upon entering the theatre, guests had the opportunity to purchase pastries, tea, coffee, and other treats in the lobby – which serves as the theatres’ coffee shop – before the program began. A few minutes before the 8 pm show time, guests were ushered to their seats. The theatre is small and very intimate that holds roughly around 43 people. The program began promptly at 8 pm, with poetry from a few of the cast. The audience also had the chance to enjoy a musical number of “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar and H.E.R sung beautifully by Love Game cast members. They invited the audience to sing along as they were serenaded to their soothing voices. While these performances were transpiring on stage, all cast were present, and in character.

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Then, it was time for the play…

This play allowed guests to step into the world of “Love Game” where five relationships faced the ultimate challenge post-quarantine. Dr. Hannah, (Diana Redd) and Daniel Smith, (Leonard Harmon), with the help of their facetious staff, Tim (Antoine Tate) and Mark (Trey Cameron), create a virtual dating game featuring five unmarried couples found on social audio app, Clubhouse. The couples are invited to a private resort to compete for a prize. As the “games” unfold, the audience learns that the couples are all harboring life-changing secrets that range from infidelity to sexuality to mistrust. Love Game was narrated by Michael Houston, who added the comic relief we all needed.

This play brought up many real life topics that couples actually go through. The first couple was Thomas (Roy Berry) and Martha (Mesha). Thomas, who had been previously incarcerated, is trying to navigate life post-imprisonment. His girlfriend Mesha, who is strong, independent, and the breadwinner of the relationship is longing for Thomas to stop making excuses, put the video games down, and find the maturity she knows he has.

The second couple, Leah (Quejonne Cross) and Jacob’s (Ramon Perio) relationship might look good to the public eye, but in real life, is struggling to find that… connection. Jacob, is a rising singer, who sings about love, but inadvertently neglects his girlfriend’s needs. All Leah longs for is for Jacob to treat her like the Queen he sings about in his music and the one he shows off to his friends and social media.

Couple number three was Simeon (Deion Smith) and Rachel (Angel Hart). Rachel is a preacher’s daughter who is battling with self-discovery and sustaining a relationship with Simeon, whose mentality of “the grind never stops” is taking a huge toll on their union. Simeon is the typical “bad boy” who the “good girls” fall for easily. He’s charismatic, smooth with his words, and has the “urban flair” the girls love. Rachel, similar to Leah, desires for him to be the partner she desires.

Fourth couple, David (Dion Henderson) and Michel (Chenee Davis), are trying to give their love another chance after David, former stripper turned social media dancer, cheated on Michel and fathered a child with a model. Michel is a woman who is not afraid to “tell it like it is” and as she tries to move forward from David’s infidelities, gets triggered by his past. She yearns to be “seen” by David and as in any real life relationship, unfaithfulness can bring up insecurities within oneself, and create the lingering question, “am I enough?”

Fifth, and final “couple,” Jonathan (Grant Hall) and Mary (Alexis Miranda), do not have the typical relationship like the other four…because they’re actually best friends. Jonathan is a fitness guru and poet who yearns to be more than friends with free-spirited Mary. The idea of searching for love, not finding it, and it being right in front of you, comes to mind while watching this story unfold. While Jonathan fantasizes about a future with Mary, she silently struggles with healing from her traumatic childhood.

“Love Game” got its’ start on Clubhouse with over 5,000 active listeners. During the pandemic, Rainey kept himself busy to ensure he didn’t lose his creative juice. This is where he found his inspiration for his latest play.

“I was in Lion King and worked with a couple of other shows that was keeping creatives around the world creative while being locked down at home. With this renaissance happening, I wanted to contribute with an original piece of work. I remembered a script that I had did before called “Dating Game” and thought about the dark place I was in right before the pandemic feeling unworthy and not enough and started doing some work on loving myself – from there it led to me thinking about different relationships around me and what they were going through during quarantine.”

This production was made possible by a team of creative individuals which includes, stage manager Nasuan Davis, house manager David Cross, Quejonne and Dion as choreographers (whom are also cast mates), pianist Denzel-Le’Mar, and many more.

For more information and to find more about Rainey, visit:

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