D.C. Natives Bring Black Broadway Back Home

On Saturday, March 31, the stage play “What a Man Won’t Do” premiered at the historic Lincoln Theatre in northwest D.C.

Written and produced by Washington natives Vernon Williams III and Lovail Long, cast members included home grown thespians whose performances brought outbursts of applause and talk-back from the audience.

The opening act, a comedy team featuring the Party Crashers, prepared the audience for an evening of laughter and entertainment.

Surprisingly, the play never developed into yet another production based on the typical man-bashing story line. Even during intermission, audience members expressed their excitement, anxious to see what would happen next.

The play centers on an unhappy wife, Karla Jones (played by Y’anna Crawley), who feels ignored by husband Marc (Anwan “Big G” Glover), despite her efforts to cater to his every need. He receives advice from his friends Raheem and Jeff (Raheem DeVaughn and Frank “Scooby” Marshall) to do almost the opposite of what she asks. Jeff, married to Jasmine (Grace Amazin), faces similar issues.

Chad (Cross Thompson), an actor with six-pack abs and bulging triceps and biceps who has appeared in several notable plays, television dramas, and films, enters the scene as a landscaper. He’s met the wife at a club the night before and is hired by the husband. But instead of doing yard work, he ends up getting involved with Karla.

Karla’s mother-in-law, Mama Rita (Lisa Renee Marshall), is an example of today’s perceptive matriarchs and quickly recognizes the chemistry and burning fire between the two cheaters. Slowly, she helps her son realize the truth.

After a few twists and turns, door slams, and tears, Marc, with the help of Felicia (Takesa “KK” Donelson) handles the situation gangster style. Marc and Karla rekindle their relationship and live happily ever after.

According to the playbill, Williams, a mentee of esteemed playwright David E. Talbert, is making his mark in the industry as a playwright, producer and director. He attributes his success to God’s grace and favor upon his life.

Long, an entrepreneur, playwright and producer, partnered with Williams in 2017 and the team has several projects scheduled to debut later this year including “The Giz: The Go-Go Musical” and “Annie.” He stars in a Facebook Live broadcast, “The Odd Couple DC.”

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