July 19, 2012

“I dance upstairs tonight.”

That simple and somewhat cryptic statement by one of the women in the production, “Nylons,” aptly sums up the conflict some of the characters face.

“Upstairs,” although never seen, is where the dancers strut their stuff “au natural.” It is also where the best money can be made.

But, there is a price the characters—including a married diva, a gifted bartender and a struggling beauty—might have to pay for leaving the conventional and romantic dances downstairs for the excitement of upstairs.

“Nylons” originally appeared on Stage 52 last April and has now moved to the much larger Wilshire Ebell Theater for a one-night performance July 28 at 8 p.m.

“Nylons” is the fifth play written since 2005 by Compton-born, Moreno-Valley raised playwright Brandi Burks, and follows on the heels of the critically successful “Shhh . . . Quiet as Kept.”

Burks said she was inspired to write Nylons because, “My last four plays have been based on gospel story lines. I feel like the religious people already have a solid foundation, and it's time that I reach out to the world no matter what religion or creed. I decided to get risky with “Nylons” and deliver a message that everyone should be aware of.

“Nylons are universal from the office to the church to night clubs.

Nylons range from plain to lace to fishnet and everything in between. Going from Gospel-based plays to “Nylons” is a way to show my creativity and versatility as a playwright.”

Prior to this latest stage venture, Burks penned and produced “Shhh . . . Quiet As Kept,” in 2009; “Men Cry Too” in 2008; and “Come Sunday” in 2006 and 2010. A 2005 production at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles, “This is Not My Destiny” which sold out every night of the show, began the up-and-coming young playwright’s string of successful productions.

The NAACP Theatre awards even recognized her talents with a nomination in 2006 for “Come Sunday.”

Chicago native Tiffany Snow, who plays the lead role of Flossy, is a 2011 NAACP Theatre Award winner and she and the rest of the cast will perform to original music

Vincent M. Ward portrays the role of Kenzo. A Dayton, Ohio, native, Ward is a versatile actor and has played stage, television and movie roles that range from drug dealer to pastor.

Like her last production, Burks has also included live, original music, and the musical director for this show is veteran Cedric Lilly.

Lilly has more than 20 years of experience behind him and has performed with musicians including Roy Hargrove, Latoiya Williams, Vesta, Yo Yo, Bobby Brown and the Greater Los Angeles Cathedral Choir.

Tickets for “Nylons” are $35. They can be purchased in advance online at www.brownpapertickets.com. Additional information is available by calling (323) 600-7402.

The Wilshire Ebell is located at 4401 W. 8th St. in Los Angeles, just west of the intersection of Crenshaw and Wilshire boulevards.

Category: Arts & Culture