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Play Review: ‘Man’s Favor Devil’s Plan’
By Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, Contributing Writer
Published November 17, 2022

Nic Few (Butchie), a hotel cook and former prize fighter, boldly challenges Darrell Phillip (Mr. Avery), the hotel owner who steals Butchie’s grandfather’s watch.  (Jermaine Alexander photo)

“Make a deal with the devil, and you’ll always come out on the losing end.”

Man’s Favor Devil’s Plan” set in Los Angeles, California, in 1938, takes the audience inside the complicated lives of colored people who work at a hotel. For decades, survival at any means is top priority for the working class, especially for colored folks. In the 1930s, Black people were Negroes, colored or called worst names and in this Robey Theatre Company production, the language used is indicative of the times.

The story and characters written by playwright Kwik Jones is a reminder of what the “help” looked and acted like outside of the homes of the society of the wealthy and white. The hotel owner, Mr. Avery, is a product of a wealthy father who has little confidence about his son to efficiently run the family hotel.

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Mr. Avery has lot to prove his worth and overcompensates for his business acumen by preying on the young women who work for him. The “Me Too” movement has been woven in the fabric of American’s history just as racism and social injustice.

Julian White, the director, transports the cast – Christina Childress, Nic Few, Matt Jennings, Ashlee Olivia Jones, Crystal Nix, and Darrell Phillip – to a vulnerable time for the Black men and women who fought to maintain their dignity when it was constantly stripped away by their employer.

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“What a profound title with a very significant and realistic view of history and how it’s so relevant to today’s present occurrences. Men using their inherited and White privileged power to manipulate women and men, disregarding their civil rights,” said Caesar Bijou, a screenwriter.

“Man’s favor, which was the son of the hotel owner abusing the women with that inherited favor that led to devious acts that was also repetitive of his father’s past. History repeats itself again and again as does learned behavior, the bad and the good. Definitely, a must see performance to educate and break this vicious cycle of injustice.”

Matt Jennings (Laddie, the bellhop) attempt to dance away trouble with his sister Ashlee Olivia Jones (DD, a hotel maid) who is harassed by Mr. Avery, the predatory hotel owner. (Jermaine Alexander photo)

“Man’s Favor Devil’s Plan” presented by The Robey Theatre Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 4, 514 S. Spring St., in downtown Los Angeles runs through Sunday, November 20. Ben Guillory is the producing artistic director.

Admission is $40 for adults and $25 for students, seniors, LAUSD teachers, veterans, groups of 10 or more. Robey requires for audience members to wear a mask during the performance. Also, be advised that this play deals with adult content, including violence and racism. It is unsuitable for small children.

For tickets, go to https://therobeytheatrecompany.org or call (213) 489-7402. Parking with theatre validation is $5 available at Joe’s Parking, 530 S. Spring Street.

Categories: Entertainment | Theater
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