BWW Review: THE MECCA TALES by Crossroads Theatre Company-A Stunning Gem
"There is the life we plan and the life we actually have."
from The Mecca Tales
Crossroads Theatre Company is now on the road with their exciting 2017/2018 "Love & Happiness" season. The Company just presented a one-weekend-only performance of The Mecca Tales at the Middlesex County College Performing Art Center from November 8th to November 12th. This beautifully written theatrical piece by Rohina Malik featured a remarkable cast and the finest direction by Kareem Fahmy. The critically acclaimed play brought theatergoers to the college's Edison campus to experience a stunning show that conveyed our shared sense of humanity.
While the Crossroad's Theatre Company's new venue is being constructed on Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, they will be introducing audiences around the Garden State to their productions. The Company's mission is to create and present professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora.
The Mecca Tales is the story of five very different Muslim women who are travelling together for the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the most holy city for Muslims. But the trip does not go smoothly. Their bus is delayed and tensions rise amongst the group. Each of the women has a very personal reason for embarking on the pilgrimage. The different motivations include marital problems, grief, motherhood issues, and professional concerns. As they communicate their truths and explore religious rituals, the women become closer. They experience the redemptive power of their journey and the significance of their Muslim faith.
The talented cast included Cynthia Bastidas as Alma, Kimberly S. Fairbanks as Grace; Mariam Habib as Maya; Gulshan Mia as Bina; Jade Radford as Malika; and Louis Sallan as Rezza and other roles. These six actors brought the show to life with its heartrending moments and well-placed humor. They mastered the distinctive personalities of their individual roles and delivered Rohina Malik's superbly crafted dialogue perfectly.
The Production Team did a great job of bringing The Mecca Tales to the Middlesex County College Performing Arts Center. They include scenic design by David Esler, lighting and projection design by Devorah Kengman; costume design by Teresa Snider-Stein; choreography by Theara J. Ward; casting by Stephanie Klapper. The Production Stage Manager was Keri Landeiro.
We applaud Crossroads Theatre Company and their Producing Artistic Director, Marshall Jones III for kicking off the season with The Mecca Tales. It was a universally appealing and important show, a gift to New Jersey audiences.
The Mecca Tales was presented by Crossroads Theatre Company in association with Voyage Theatre Company. Crossroads Theatre Company will be presenting the Fats Waller musical, Ain't Misbehavin' from February 1st to February 4th at NJPAC in Newark and Back to the Real by Pia Wilson from May 11th to May 20th at the Mastrobuono Theater in New Brunswick. For more information and ticketing, call them at 732.545.8100 and visit their web site at www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org.
Photo Credit: William M. Brown