Jude Hills original work about an all-female, Seattle-based, black punk-rock group proved a distressing dichotomy: great music and production values paired with a script that says nothing and goes nowhere. Ostensibly about how the fictitious band makes it big, Hot Grits is more an illustration that fortune favors the petty. Of the four characters, only one is dynamic enough to escape being a caricature: Jordan, admirably portrayed by Nicole Peoples, really should have gotten top billing. The listed lead, Lola, played by Rachael Ferguson, is a character who confuses egomania and lack of empathy for self-esteem. The run time is listed in the program as an hour and a half, but this figure must represent the show minus cursing; obscenities included, Hot Grits comes in at just over two hours. Ordinarily I couldnt care less about swearing in a play, but when a show has nothing to tell me I would rather be told gently. In a production that promised to change the power dynamic and portray a different perspective of the black female experience, I was deeply disappointed to see semi-glorified drug abuse. On the upside, the costuming and set design are excellent. The music is really quite good and almost worth sitting through the script for, but not quite. VIRGINIA ZECH 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Nov. 8.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 24. Continues through Nov. 8, 2008