Published on May 31st, 2014 | by Greg
They Call Me Q: An All-American One Woman Play With Verve
The best stories are always the most personal, translated through experience into a narrative that a diverse audience can relate to and understand. And while big budgets, huge sets, special effects, and famous names can certainly draw in crowds, there is much to be said for the more intimate productions. One of the quintessential New York attractions is our collection of varied cultures- and what better way to connect than with theater?
Opening June 4th at St. Luke’s theater (308 West 46th Street), this off-Broadway show is as simple as they come. They Call Me Q has been performed at the United Nations and across the United States, and is essentially the story of one woman, Qurrat Ann Kadwani. Sprinkled throughout her life are a dozen or so characters that she impressively channels, from Caucasian teachers to Puerto Rican classmates. It ends up being pretty funny and quite touching, ranging between impressions and a solid tale that is quite engaging. Their description is pretty apt: it’s a story of an “Indian girl growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx who gracefully seeks balance between the cultural pressures brought forth by her traditional parents and wanting acceptance into her new culture”.
But what it misses is the comedy and deft touch brought to the stage, as we progress from the requisite rough childhood to an adulthood with the expected pressures of marriage and conformity. A few small props aside, it’s Qurrat’s journey holding your focus the entire time, a tough solo act with only a few music cues and no intermission to take you out of her world. Confident and blissfully forward, you’re in safe hands here, with nothing too adult and a show safe for the whole family. We wished for a little more at the end- it stops sort of abruptly.
They Call Me Q is as entertaining a biography as we’ve seen on the stage, and performances run throughout the month on Mondays and Wednesdays until July 2nd. Tickets run from $39.50 to $59.50, and are available now.