Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR at Vincent Victoria Presents

Review: THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR at Vincent Victoria Presents

a dazzling new movie from Vincent Victoria Presents and Brave Roots Films

THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR is the second feature film from the Vincent Victoria company, and based on his previously produced theatrical play STARRING CHERRY COLA PITTS. It's a biting satire that imagines a world where an unapologetically queer black man is host of a television show that tops the ratings in 1950s America. The character initially emerged from a fever dream sequence of his production company's first feature film BLAQUE TCHERIE. He's a curious chap... a man who presents himself in male clothing with a booming voice, but one that also has a penchant for full make-up and wigs. He's not a drag queen, but a man that lives halfway between male and female. He speaks directly about gay issues, black issues, and any kind of issues you can imagine. He's funny as all heck and has a sly sexuality that will take you by surprise. I find him delicious, and hopefully movie audiences will as well.


There is something freeing about seeing a black man in a wig talking candidly about racism and homophobia, and that is the central conceit for THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR. The narrative around this character is simple... he's at the top of the ratings right now, and a handful of people want him to take a tumble. Some threats come from inside his own cast and crew, while others are disgruntled studio execs who don't understand why Cherry is so damn popular. It seems everyone would be more content to have someone who is more "assimilated" into the fabric of white American 1950s culture. Even Cherry knows this simple truth, and in fact performs a show stopping number about this very topic.

The film concentrates on the Cherry character mostly, but there are moments when the ensemble emerges and takes centerstage. There is a very sweet romance between a dancer and a production member that is charming. Reyna Janelle is the dancer, and she has an amazing screen presence that pops right off the screen. Some funny bits include Lucille Ball (CarrieLee Sparks) wondering what is happening, and a scheming studio exec fuming at the ratings (Wes Kreitz). The ensemble is not as showcased as they were in the stage production, but part of that has to do with translating this piece to a motion picture format. I did miss the crew around Cherry getting their spotlight, but was happy to see them swirling around him still on the big screen.

THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR sometimes feels more like an extended skit rather than a feature film, but Vincent Victoria has some tricks up his sequined sleeve to make sure you recognize why he wanted a movie. Technically this piece is light years ahead of his company's first feature. Director of photography Okay Iwundu masterfully jumps from wide to tight, and even from color to back and white at the drop of a hat. He has captured the world perfectly, and it all looks far more grandiose than it ever could on a stage. Sound design by Princess Darlene Murray is also a revelation with every line of dialogue and action perfectly orchestrated. The music provided as well from Princess Darlene Murray is top-notch. This is a fully realized film, and Vincent Victoria has finally figured out how to translate his love of stage to a screen. It makes sense, because Vincent's directing style has always been fantastically filmic.

After seeing this film, I can't get Cherry Cola Pitts out of my mind. He haunts me in the best of ways. Vincent embodies the character so well, and there are moments where you can see a sadness emerge from behind the otherwise leering prankster. In the stage show this was harder to see, but on film it comes to the surface beautifully. For all his vitriol, silliness, and gender play... somewhere underneath is a soul that aches for something more. That is probably the most ironic part of THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR. It shows you a dichotomy that is a reality for anyone enraged at the state of the world right now.

THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR only screens one weekend at the Midtown Arts Center adjacent to the HCC campus. It will be presented on the weekend of December 16th with evening shows Friday and Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. Follow the ticket link for event admission.



Theatre Southwest Announces Cast and Creative Team For SILENT SKY Photo
Theatre Southwest has announced its cast and creative team for Silent Sky, written by Lauren Gunderson.

Alley Theatre Receives $20,000 Grant For The National Endowment for the Arts Photo
The Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre is a recipient of a 20,000 NEA Grant for Arts Projects. This month, the grant will support the launch of a new initiative that culminates during Afro-Caribbean poet and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott's, The Odyssey. Heroes Within: A Celebration of Victorious Journeys, is a project connecting the Epic play's hero's journey to the heroic experiences pertinent to Houston's Black community.

Interview: Co-Stage Directors Nicole Kenley-Miller and Lawrence Edelson Share With Us the  Photo
For this weekend only, the University of Houston will be presenting SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, a musical revue of the work of Stephen Sondheim. Co-stage directors of the production Nicole Kenley-Miller and Lawrence Edelson shared an inside scoop about the unique show and the collaboration that has gone into building this truly special production.

Main Street Theater Presents Thomas Gibbons PERMANENT COLLECTION Photo
Main Street Theater (MST) is presenting Thomas Gibbons' riveting play, Permanent Collection. Inspired by events at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, one of the world's greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist & modern art, the play explores the impact of race and racial equity on society, through the lens of visual art.


From This Author - Brett Cullum

Brett Cullum has been part of the Houston and Memphis Theatre scenes for several decades now. He's been seen on community theatre and professional stages in several cities including Playhouse 1... (read more about this author)


Review: STIRS UP STILL THINGS at Ishida Dance CompanyReview: STIRS UP STILL THINGS at Ishida Dance Company
January 6, 2023

If true art is the ability to tell a story through a medium, then what this group has achieved is a remarkable level of marrying movement with narrative. Rarely have I witnessed dance where emotions and poetry are so clear, and performed with such passion.

Previews: STIRS UP STILL THINGS at ISHIDA DancePreviews: STIRS UP STILL THINGS at ISHIDA Dance
January 3, 2023

If the past is any indication, this is one you do not want to miss! The level of skill is amazing, and on par with any professional Houston dance company. And the choreographers brought in to work on the pieces are world renowned.

Review: THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR at Vincent Victoria PresentsReview: THE COLORED FOLKS GOOD TIME HOUR at Vincent Victoria Presents
December 15, 2022

After seeing this film, I can’t get Cherry Cola Pitts out of my mind. He haunts me in the best of ways. Vincent embodies the character so well, and there are moments where you can see a sadness emerge from behind the otherwise leering prankster.

Review: CRUEL INTENTIONS - THE 90S MUSICAL at The Garden TheatreReview: CRUEL INTENTIONS - THE 90S MUSICAL at The Garden Theatre
November 19, 2022

It’s a rock musical featuring all of the naughty behavior of the original film and marries it to the “hits of the day” that were hot when it came out. Innuendos about “booty sex” merge with Backstreet Boys hits in a jukebox musical that revels in the absurdity of the original concept.

Review: COYOTE ON A FENCE at Dirt Dogs TheatreReview: COYOTE ON A FENCE at Dirt Dogs Theatre
October 31, 2022

This is a morally complex piece of theater, and luckily the cast is up to the challenge of bringing these people to life without judgment or any trace of hesitation. The language, the situations, the truths, are all difficult matters that have to be handled directly and confidently.