Karen Bankhead is a warm and generous performer with a tremendous ear for ethnic accents. Her one woman show The VO5 Experience, has her in multiple roles: Sunday school teacher, insecure actress, a Vietnamese boat woman transformed into a millionaire, a Latina named Corvette and most wonderfully as the 103 year old Ella Mae Mumphries who seems to have single-handedly played no small part in the rise of some America's most prominent and important Black public figures.
The play has a strong connection to the gentler side popular Black theater, which has strong connections to the church. That's the downside for me, as the VO5 Experience ultimately is like attending a feel-good church, where everything turns out just right if you only put your faith in the Lord and stop to listen for the message. I'm sure it's a message that resonates with a lot of folks and Bankhead delivers it in a pleasing fashion.
The final performance is tomorrow, Sept 12, at 6:00 PM, 156 Eddy St.. If you didn't get your church fix on earlier that morning, you may want to catch up with Bankhead's show.