Tonya Pinkins's "Truth and Reconciliation: Womyn Working It Out!" - New York City Article

Tonya Pinkins's "Truth and Reconciliation:
Womyn Working It Out!"

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Tonya Pinkins's "Truth and Reconciliation: Womyn Working It Out!"

Oct 7, 2019

Tonya Pinkins’s “Truth and Reconciliation:
Womyn Working It Out!”
The Tank
313 W 36th Street

As a straight white dude, I am long resigned to the prevailing political opinion that everything currently wrong with the world is our fault - I don’t deny it, but I don’t need to have it rubbed into my face 20 times a day. (Oh no - please don’t tell me there’s now a TV series based on The First Wives Club! That’s the last thing we need!) Thus I approached this feminist theater work somewhat trepidatiously - but I needn’t have. Far from suggesting that everything bad that’s ever happened to women is the fault of men, this new anthology illuminates how women have, in these cases at least, been culpable in their own oppression. And even though it’s about “traumatic experiences,” the nine brief scenes don’t dwell on the bad news but celebrate “reconciliation,” and rather focus on how women can move beyond these negative experiences. The nine scenes are written by eight different female playwrights, one of whom is the director Tonya Pinkins (winner of a Tony award for Jelly’s Last Jam in 1992). One particularly moving episode, “The Grandmothers,” by Kristine Reyes, concerns a Japanese grandmother coming to grips with her country’s atrocities during WW2; again, thankfully it dwells on the reconciliation rather than the harrowing specifics, and is uplifting rather than depressing. Here’s hoping the run gets extended at the Tank or elsewhere.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)