BWW Review: Jomama Jones' BLACK LIGHT Offers Spiritual Healing in Turbulent Times

"I have a friend - She's a liberal. I don't know if there are any liberals here..."

The line gets a big laugh from the crowd at Joe's Pub, where singer/actor Daniel Alexander Jones, appearing as the woman he regards as his alter ego, Jomama Jones, peruses faces among the guests, making no assumptions as to their social or political leanings.

BWW Review:  Jomama Jones' BLACK LIGHT Offers Spiritual Healing in Turbulent Times
Jomama Jones (Photo: Joan Marcus)

But that's the kind of non-judgmental, all-inclusive spirit Jones uses to embrace those who choose to witness her evening of inspiration, BLACK LIGHT, billed as "a musical revival for turbulent times."

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughs serves as music director, and Jomama is joined on stage by the ensemble of bassist Michelle Marie Osbourne, percussionist Sean Dixon, guitarist/vocalist Josh Quat, keyboard player/vocalist Tariq Al-Sabir and back-up vocalists Trevor Bachman and Vuyo Sotashe (who she calls "my vibrations"), Jones is a figure that mixes a heartfelt desire to heal with a striking sense of glamour.

Her poise his regal, her frequently changing wardrobe (designed by Oana Botez) is divine and her impeccable diction gives a motherly warmth to her words of inspiration.

"What if I told you it's going to be alright?," begins the list of questions Jones asks to commence the performance. "What if I told you not yet?," she cautions.

Reassuring thoughts like, "What if I told you you will be brave enough?" are followed by blunt realities like, "What if I told you that we won't all make it through?"

And while she refers to our country as the "so-called United States of America," specific issues are never addressed. Even a quick reference to today's heightened awareness of consent can be taken with whatever point of view the listener wishes to accept it.

With no story line taking us through the 90-minute performance, BLACK LIGHT is primarily an evening of inspirational jazz, pop, rock and blues songs (penned by Jones, Quat, Laura Jean Anderson, Bobby Halvorson and Dylan Meek) covering topics such as realizing your self-worth and making connections with others, using fairly standard lyrical language. (During one song, audience members are requested to hold hands with a stranger sitting near them.)

BWW Review:  Jomama Jones' BLACK LIGHT Offers Spiritual Healing in Turbulent Times
Trevor Bachman, Jomama Jones
and Vuyo Sotashe (Photo: Joan Marcus)

In between we hear snippets about people who have inspired Jones through her life, such as her Aunt Cleotha, who teaches her of the New Year's Eve tradition of Watchnight and the science teacher, Miss Stutt, who points out the objectification in the way she and a schoolmate express their love for Prince.

With no director credited, BLACK LIGHT plays best as an enjoyable character sketch than as a theatre piece. But there's certainly an abundance of talent and sincerity populating the stage, so those seeking a spiritual uplift should feel right at home.

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From This Author Michael Dale

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