Chicken & Biscuits, A Broadway Comedy
A feast of a show, Chicken & Biscuits has enough food and drink for the whole family. With fantastic writing that is current, accessible, and belly-laugh inducing, Zhailon Levingston, who at 27 years old becomes the youngest Black director in Broadway history, brings Douglas Lyons’ new Broadway play to life.
The Subject Of The play:
While it’s not customary to consider funerals as sources of entertainment, Lyons provides an overview of the joyous celebration that surrounds an elder’s homegoing in the Black church. In this instance, the congregation is the non-denominational audience at the Circle in the Square theater.
Participates in a full Baptist memorial service, complete with erratic family tributes. An endless sermon, and a surprise guest who shows up at the very last minute. Despite its numerous humorous moments, the main themes of this tale are Black love, forgiveness, and healing.
The Cast Of The Play:
Everything in this musical, which has seven Black characters and just one white actor, is pleasantly out of the ordinary for Broadway. It is difficult to single out any one member of the cast because they all work so well together. It is difficult to single out any one member of the cast because they all work so well together.
The Jenkins family is not perfect, as no family is. Large family gatherings, like funerals, can sometimes bring out the worst in them as they quarrel, swear, and fight. “Chicken & Biscuits” is a much-needed therapy session, a portrayal of Black joy, love, and laughter, that we all and especially Black theatergoers deserve after more than a year of COVID shutdowns and after numerous Broadway productions showcasing Black pain and servitude. But it’s more than just a church service brought to you inside a Broadway house. Both a Hallelujah and an A-men, this play.
The Play Seems A Little Undercooked:
With over two dozen people making their Broadway debuts in the cast and the creative team of Chicken & Biscuits, it is evident that the show has the proper intentions. They lack experience, though, and it shows in the writing and most of the design.
And the young director Zhailon Levingston’s occasionally bumbling approach to Circle in the Square’s difficult three-quarters thrust stage. In the right circumstances, Chicken and Biscuits can be an amusing and upbeat change of pace from Broadway’s darker themes. But the piece ultimately lacks focus because the humor sacrifices the narrative.
On the whole, The play Chicken and Biscuits, like its original meal, which Grandpa B was famous for messing up, is not quite cooked.