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Douglas Lyons

Chicken & Biscuits

October 18, 2021

Douglas Lyons’ new comedy, "Chicken & Biscuits" introduces us to the dysfunctional Jenkins/Mabry clan at the funeral of its patriarch Bernard, the former pastor of his New Haven church. Among the various glitches are the arrival of an uninvited family member and the appearance of the gay boyfriend of the son. Sound familiar? The new wrinkle in this Broadway play is that the family is Black.  While the formula may be time-worn and familiar, Lyons’ play directed by Zhailon Levingston (also making his Broadway debut as the youngest Black director in Broadway history) is fast-paced and generally bright and appealing. Veteran stars Norm Lewis and Michael Urie lead a fine cast that includes the Broadway debuts of five performers who may be familiar from television, film or Off Broadway. [more]

On The Town…. with Chip Deffaa: Count Basie and Louis Jordan

February 28, 2020

I'm very glad that a friend and I were able to enjoy the high-spirited, fast-moving revue "Five Guys Named Moe," which is currently playing   at Westchester Broadway Theatre.    A lot of talent on that stage. Director/choreographer Richard Stafford has found six performers – Tyler Johnson-Campion, Tony Perry, Napoleon M. Douglas, Quentin Avery Brown, Douglas Lyons, Isaiah Reynolds --who do justice to the hits of Louis Jordan. Each has his own personality. Each gets moments to shine individually.  Tony Perry, as I noted in these pages a year ago, was one of my favorites in WBT’s 2018 production of Ain’t Misbehavin’.  And it was good to see him again.  The others in the cast are all new to me.  But they all got well into the spirit of this music.  And their zest was contagious. [more]