Jason E. Carmichael's Jimmy Lunceford is tactless and lacking in social graces. He earns a lot of the evening's laughter in his pursuit of Yolande. He is unashamed and unabashedly speaks his mind however and whenever he wants. Late in the second act, in a touching scene with Yolande, Jason E. Carmicheal brilliantly fleshes out Jimmy and grounds him in humanity.
An'tick Von Morphxing is hilarious and full of attitude as Lenora. She easily earns the night's most hearty laughs and guffaws. The character is enigmatic and helps Yolande to discover everything she is missing.
Jason Lont's Scenic Design is telling of the time period and expertly conveys the location. I was especially fond of his door-less entry to the building and the dwelling itself that the Du Bois family inhabits. It allows for rapid transitions between exterior to interior and keeps the pace moving forward.
Costume Design by Macy Perrone is beautiful and perfectly captures the styles of the late 1920s.
Kris Phelps' Lighting Design utilizes realistic lighting effects for all scenes. His gobo work for the illusion of windows in the Du Bois household and the shadow of a tree on the street is inspired and entirely effective.
Adrian Washington's Sound Design is evocative. The choice for preshow and intermission music pairs well with the play.
The Ensemble Theatre's production of Charles Smith's KNOCK ME A KISS is a captivating and entertaining glimpse into an unsung hero of The Harlem Renaissance. The defiance and willpower of Yolande Du Bois has not found its way into history books, and this pristine production sheds interesting light on the short and discontented marriage of Yolande Du Bois and Countee Cullen.
KNOCK ME A KISS runs until February 24, 2013 at The Ensemble Theatre at 3535 main Street, Houston, Texas. For more information and tickets please visit http://ensemblehouston.com or call (713) 520 - 0055.
All photos courtesy of Ensemble Theatre.
Wayne DeHart (W.E.B. Du Bois) and Michelle Harper (Yolande Du Bois)
Michelle Harper (Ylande Du Bois), Detria Ward (Nina Du Bois), Wayne DeHart (W.E.B. Du Bois), and Mirron Willis (Countee Cullen)