White Nights, Black Paradise

Critics

LemonMeter

25 %

Reviews: 4

Audience

LemonMeter

97 %

Reviews: 16

In 1978, People's Temple, a progressive, Black multiracial church, self-destructed in a Guyana settlement named after its founder, the Reverend Jim Jones. A riveting story of complicity and resistance; loyalty and betrayal; black struggle and black sacrifice told through the voices of Black women.

Reviews

This play is a must see!!! It not only illustrates themes that are important to discuss, but also gives us a deeper look into this time period. I believe this play should be viewed by anyone wanting to get a taste of history and what the “temple” really was to it's inhabitants. Critical story that everyone should witness, the writer behind this is phenomenal! Go check it out now!

sweet - Eclasia Wesley


This was in amazing performance I love the cast. They put on a wonderful show i would love to see it again and bring my family

sweet - Tawana hogan


This is a very inspirational play.I learned so much about the characters and the history of Peoples Temple from it. Definitely a motivational drama for the masses. I think everyone should check this play out, especially because of Jonestown's influence on black folk. I got a lot of insight into its portrayal of the upheavals that went down in the civil rights and post-civil rights era.This definitely is the play of the year! Everyone in their family should have the opportunity to see it and I hope it gets an extended run in another theater. Darrell Philip,the guy that played Jim Jones, really stood out because the play was based on Jones' maniacal personality.

sweet - Vino O'Brien


This play was gripping from start to finish! The performances were incredible. The play brought history to life and paid homage to the vital role Black women have always played. I'm very glad I got a chance to see it.

sweet - Yuisa Gimeno


Hutchinson has done an excellent job of telling her tale from the perspective of a society in turmoil. However, more complex individual motivations are given short shrift. Nonetheless, WHITE NIGHTS, BLACK PARADISE is a fascinating portrayal of a world gone crazy as a stressed society spins out of control. The playwright brings history to the personal level.

sweet-sour - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


The production “White Nights, Black Paradise” is serious theatre. Kudos to director White and actors/actresses for bringing such a horrific piece of popular history to life. Author and playwright Sikivu Hutchinson succsfully highlights the humanity and complexity of the black women who labored and struggled against their own invisibility. Her characters present a tough, multi-layered response to my question, who were the people that suffered in Guyana.

sweet - Kamela Heyward-Rotimi


“White Nights, Black Paradise” stage play makes you reevaluate your judgement or opinion on those who perished in Jonestown, Guyana on that fretful day in 1978. Sikivu Hutchinson aids us to compassion in telling a variety of stories, revealing the choices made to follow the unknown wicked fatal antics of Jim Jones…who also was a lost soul. This play provokes a repositioning from how could they do this to my God have mercy on me as I move about my journey of life, faith and death. A MUST SEE Production!

sweet - Angela Birdsong


I found the play to be quite compelling. The actors were very good and the dialogue was crisp. It made my fiancée and I want to know more about the black lives that were lost in the Jonestown massacre. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Kudos to the playwright and the director

sweet - Shareef Shabazz


Excellent look into the social and political conditions that helped to create the Jonestown massacre. While I thought I knew the history of Jonestown I found that I had many miconceceptions. The writer manages to portray the complicated, complex interworkings of African American women in this country against the backdrop of a historic tragedy. The actors made tbeir characters come alive and made me care about them. Rarely have I seen this quality of writing or acting in a small production. I am looking forward to seeing this play again with friends and family

sweet - Patricia Kimathi


White Nights, Black Paradise surprised me, disturbed me, offended me, challenged me, educated me, and entertained me. I thought I knew the story of Jim Jones and the People's Temple: a group of crazy people following an evil leader. I was wrong. Sikivu Hutchinson's characters showed me the real reasons why this tragedy occurred. Her characters are raw, real, revealing, and compelling. For me, the power of her characters overcame the usual opening night glitches. So I recommend that everyone who (like me before I saw this play) thinks they know why these people did what they did—should see this play. I believe Dr. Hutchinson's play should be made into a full Broadway production.

sweet - Roland Gilbert


This is the caliber of theatre that tends to irk those like myself who wander the smaller venues of L.A. seeking an estimable production like Diogenes with his lamp searching the Athenian marketplace for an “honest man.” Though, I'd bet Diogenes had more success.

sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


This is a well-thought out play that examines the psychological, social, and cultural enthusiasm AND revulsion for the Peoples Temple, the predominantly black female church (a fact not widely known until this play) at the center of the Jonestown massacre of 1978. Superbly written and acted, the play's hard realism, critique of organized religion and historical insight force the audience to deal with two main despairing messages: How could this have happened and can it happen again? I highly recommend this play for the great, nuanced performances by many of the actors, in particular, Ms. Rhea, who is ideally cast as Taryn Strayer.

sweet - Vonny Girl


wasn't sure what to make of the play itself. i liked the way the writer talked about the part black women played in the tragedy.

sweet-sour - ana chavez


Sikivu, has done it again. :-) Her writings, lectures and now this masterful yet serious play discusses the Jim Jones massacre of over 900 people of which a majority of the victims were African American women. This play went into some of the social problems that many woman of color are faced with then and even now. It demonstrated and showed how people can be easily manipulated when despair has completely settled in. Finally , I see so many similarities with some of the megachurches that exist today within our community . Hopefully, a play like this could even help prevent something like this from ever happening again. Thanks again Sikivu for the enlightenment!

sweet - Frank Anderson


An astonishing, irreverent glimpse into the lives and politics of black women involved in the Peoples Temple and Jonestown massacre of 1978. A big cast of accomplished actors unpack the social and political context of the rise and fall of the Temple through an unflinching black feminist lens featuring multifaceted black characters from all walks of life. The play is anchored by a Greek chorus of black women who provide poetic/ironic commentary on the action and interlocking stories of two sisters who join the church (though they don't believe in organized religion); a black female journalist critical of the church; and a black lesbian therapist who is part of the Rev Jim Jones' power structure. Wasn't aware of this history before seeing the play and it deserves a longer run and full airing.

sweet - Stephen Kelley


The play could benefit from a focus on a few of the main characters and still succeed in telling the message it set out to tell.

sour - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


White Nights, Black Paradise aims to accomplish much--recreating a bizarre and sprawling series of events that in truth stretched back decades, and thousands of individuals each with a personal history and story. Not easy. Not impossible, but a difficult challenge. Honestly the success ends up mixed.

sweet-sour - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Really enjoyed this show. The story came to life in a ways that have rarely been shown before. The story itself was well done. There were humorous parts, but I found myself in a somber spirit throughout the whole show. Having let myself really get into the stories of the characters on stage I was in tears on several occasions throughout the play. To me this shows that the playwright, cast, and crew did a wonderful job sharing the stories of the women and men who were entangled in the deceit that was the People's Temple. I highly recommend this production. Here's to another run soon.

sweet - Colleen Jousma


I witnessed a miracle tonight. I spoke with the author, Sikivu Hutchinson after the show. They had 4 weeks to stage a play based on the largest mass murder/suicide in the U.S. history 11-18-1978 Guyana: Jim Jones, a massacre of 918 church and community members. The players had to double as stagehands, which made the runtime longer, but despite this, the play captured the intricate lives of the people who went there in a unique and original and authentic. Funny and tragic, the play captured the undertow of deception and thoroughly researched the events of Jones's relationship with the poor, mostly black community of men, women, and children leading back from 1956 to 1978. Plays are difficult, and as an actor, published writer of novels, essays, short stories and screenplays, I feel deeply about the amount of work that went into the staging of this play in the time they had to do it. I also think that it should run past the 3 limited days of appearance at Hudson. The entire ensemble worked to produce a glimpse of the horror wrought by Jones. With the right funding, the runtime of the production can in my estimation be cut in half. The individual performances of Cydney Davis, Erin Aubry, Scott St. Patrick, El Piard, Charlotte Williams, Darnell Rhea, Breeana Judy, & Elise Roberson were most singular, but the fact that Hutchinson grafted the play from her novel and produced a depiction of an event of this magnitude and devastation that was staged successfully within the given time frame is in my estimation a miracle. My hat is off to her future efforts. She is truly an artist. Sincerely, Eric John Priestley, author, actor, world traveler

sweet - Eric John Priestley


Powerful and provocative take on a uniquely American tragedy in which the voices and struggles of black women are foregrounded. Fascinating illumination of sociopolitical context. Superb acting throughout by stellar cast. Go!

sweet - H. Aubry


Hutchinson has done an excellent job of telling her tale from the perspective of a society in turmoil. However, more complex individual motivations are given short shrift. Nonetheless, WHITE NIGHTS, BLACK PARADISE is a fascinating portrayal of a world gone crazy as a stressed society spins out of control. The playwright brings history to the personal level.

sweet-sour - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


This is the caliber of theatre that tends to irk those like myself who wander the smaller venues of L.A. seeking an estimable production like Diogenes with his lamp searching the Athenian marketplace for an “honest man.” Though, I'd bet Diogenes had more success.

sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


The play could benefit from a focus on a few of the main characters and still succeed in telling the message it set out to tell.

sour - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


White Nights, Black Paradise aims to accomplish much--recreating a bizarre and sprawling series of events that in truth stretched back decades, and thousands of individuals each with a personal history and story. Not easy. Not impossible, but a difficult challenge. Honestly the success ends up mixed.

sweet-sour - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


This play is a must see!!! It not only illustrates themes that are important to discuss, but also gives us a deeper look into this time period. I believe this play should be viewed by anyone wanting to get a taste of history and what the “temple” really was to it's inhabitants. Critical story that everyone should witness, the writer behind this is phenomenal! Go check it out now!

sweet - Eclasia Wesley


This was in amazing performance I love the cast. They put on a wonderful show i would love to see it again and bring my family

sweet - Tawana hogan


This is a very inspirational play.I learned so much about the characters and the history of Peoples Temple from it. Definitely a motivational drama for the masses. I think everyone should check this play out, especially because of Jonestown's influence on black folk. I got a lot of insight into its portrayal of the upheavals that went down in the civil rights and post-civil rights era.This definitely is the play of the year! Everyone in their family should have the opportunity to see it and I hope it gets an extended run in another theater. Darrell Philip,the guy that played Jim Jones, really stood out because the play was based on Jones' maniacal personality.

sweet - Vino O'Brien


This play was gripping from start to finish! The performances were incredible. The play brought history to life and paid homage to the vital role Black women have always played. I'm very glad I got a chance to see it.

sweet - Yuisa Gimeno


The production “White Nights, Black Paradise” is serious theatre. Kudos to director White and actors/actresses for bringing such a horrific piece of popular history to life. Author and playwright Sikivu Hutchinson succsfully highlights the humanity and complexity of the black women who labored and struggled against their own invisibility. Her characters present a tough, multi-layered response to my question, who were the people that suffered in Guyana.

sweet - Kamela Heyward-Rotimi


“White Nights, Black Paradise” stage play makes you reevaluate your judgement or opinion on those who perished in Jonestown, Guyana on that fretful day in 1978. Sikivu Hutchinson aids us to compassion in telling a variety of stories, revealing the choices made to follow the unknown wicked fatal antics of Jim Jones…who also was a lost soul. This play provokes a repositioning from how could they do this to my God have mercy on me as I move about my journey of life, faith and death. A MUST SEE Production!

sweet - Angela Birdsong


I found the play to be quite compelling. The actors were very good and the dialogue was crisp. It made my fiancée and I want to know more about the black lives that were lost in the Jonestown massacre. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Kudos to the playwright and the director

sweet - Shareef Shabazz


Excellent look into the social and political conditions that helped to create the Jonestown massacre. While I thought I knew the history of Jonestown I found that I had many miconceceptions. The writer manages to portray the complicated, complex interworkings of African American women in this country against the backdrop of a historic tragedy. The actors made tbeir characters come alive and made me care about them. Rarely have I seen this quality of writing or acting in a small production. I am looking forward to seeing this play again with friends and family

sweet - Patricia Kimathi


White Nights, Black Paradise surprised me, disturbed me, offended me, challenged me, educated me, and entertained me. I thought I knew the story of Jim Jones and the People's Temple: a group of crazy people following an evil leader. I was wrong. Sikivu Hutchinson's characters showed me the real reasons why this tragedy occurred. Her characters are raw, real, revealing, and compelling. For me, the power of her characters overcame the usual opening night glitches. So I recommend that everyone who (like me before I saw this play) thinks they know why these people did what they did—should see this play. I believe Dr. Hutchinson's play should be made into a full Broadway production.

sweet - Roland Gilbert


This is a well-thought out play that examines the psychological, social, and cultural enthusiasm AND revulsion for the Peoples Temple, the predominantly black female church (a fact not widely known until this play) at the center of the Jonestown massacre of 1978. Superbly written and acted, the play's hard realism, critique of organized religion and historical insight force the audience to deal with two main despairing messages: How could this have happened and can it happen again? I highly recommend this play for the great, nuanced performances by many of the actors, in particular, Ms. Rhea, who is ideally cast as Taryn Strayer.

sweet - Vonny Girl


wasn't sure what to make of the play itself. i liked the way the writer talked about the part black women played in the tragedy.

sweet-sour - ana chavez


Sikivu, has done it again. :-) Her writings, lectures and now this masterful yet serious play discusses the Jim Jones massacre of over 900 people of which a majority of the victims were African American women. This play went into some of the social problems that many woman of color are faced with then and even now. It demonstrated and showed how people can be easily manipulated when despair has completely settled in. Finally , I see so many similarities with some of the megachurches that exist today within our community . Hopefully, a play like this could even help prevent something like this from ever happening again. Thanks again Sikivu for the enlightenment!

sweet - Frank Anderson


An astonishing, irreverent glimpse into the lives and politics of black women involved in the Peoples Temple and Jonestown massacre of 1978. A big cast of accomplished actors unpack the social and political context of the rise and fall of the Temple through an unflinching black feminist lens featuring multifaceted black characters from all walks of life. The play is anchored by a Greek chorus of black women who provide poetic/ironic commentary on the action and interlocking stories of two sisters who join the church (though they don't believe in organized religion); a black female journalist critical of the church; and a black lesbian therapist who is part of the Rev Jim Jones' power structure. Wasn't aware of this history before seeing the play and it deserves a longer run and full airing.

sweet - Stephen Kelley


Really enjoyed this show. The story came to life in a ways that have rarely been shown before. The story itself was well done. There were humorous parts, but I found myself in a somber spirit throughout the whole show. Having let myself really get into the stories of the characters on stage I was in tears on several occasions throughout the play. To me this shows that the playwright, cast, and crew did a wonderful job sharing the stories of the women and men who were entangled in the deceit that was the People's Temple. I highly recommend this production. Here's to another run soon.

sweet - Colleen Jousma


I witnessed a miracle tonight. I spoke with the author, Sikivu Hutchinson after the show. They had 4 weeks to stage a play based on the largest mass murder/suicide in the U.S. history 11-18-1978 Guyana: Jim Jones, a massacre of 918 church and community members. The players had to double as stagehands, which made the runtime longer, but despite this, the play captured the intricate lives of the people who went there in a unique and original and authentic. Funny and tragic, the play captured the undertow of deception and thoroughly researched the events of Jones's relationship with the poor, mostly black community of men, women, and children leading back from 1956 to 1978. Plays are difficult, and as an actor, published writer of novels, essays, short stories and screenplays, I feel deeply about the amount of work that went into the staging of this play in the time they had to do it. I also think that it should run past the 3 limited days of appearance at Hudson. The entire ensemble worked to produce a glimpse of the horror wrought by Jones. With the right funding, the runtime of the production can in my estimation be cut in half. The individual performances of Cydney Davis, Erin Aubry, Scott St. Patrick, El Piard, Charlotte Williams, Darnell Rhea, Breeana Judy, & Elise Roberson were most singular, but the fact that Hutchinson grafted the play from her novel and produced a depiction of an event of this magnitude and devastation that was staged successfully within the given time frame is in my estimation a miracle. My hat is off to her future efforts. She is truly an artist. Sincerely, Eric John Priestley, author, actor, world traveler

sweet - Eric John Priestley


Powerful and provocative take on a uniquely American tragedy in which the voices and struggles of black women are foregrounded. Fascinating illumination of sociopolitical context. Superb acting throughout by stellar cast. Go!

sweet - H. Aubry