THE MANGO TREE, streaming from MOXIE Theatre, and a part of the SAY IT LOUD Juneteenth Festival from the San Diego Black Artists Collective is an excellent, folktale-inspired, one-woman show about a river goddess, family, and just how much trouble one mango can get you. The show is available for streaming on June 15th, 18th, and 19th.
Written, co-directed, and performed with Bibi Mama, with Claire Simba as the other co-director, this show delivers a spirited performance about a young woman and her brother, who go on adventures together, climb the mango tree beside the river, and the tale of the river goddess who doesn’t like to feel lonely.
Performed on a blank stage, Mama is full of energy and delivers a wonderfully animated show. The young woman and her brother have climbed this tree many times after she encourages and teaches him how to do it the first time. After a birthday party, they decide to go out and get mangos from the tree, but then the unexpected happens.
The folktale element is important because the story not only tells a river goddess folktale, but the play has the characteristics of a folktale itself. Set in a place where the elements are described in terms familiar enough to set a striking visual scene, the river, the tree, the mangos, they not specific enough to allow too much specificity or reality. The straightforward characters find themselves in an unexpected situation, and they learn a lesson that speaks directly to the heart of growing up.
This review will go no further as to not spoil the story, which builds up to an ending that I truly loved. It’s a shame this isn’t being seen in person because I would love to turn to the people seated next to me and discuss it after the lights came back up.
Is it hopeful? Is it magic? Is it tragic? Watch the show and then come back and tell me what you thought.
THE MANGO TREE is available for streaming on Tuesday, June 15th at 8:30pm, Friday, June 18th at 8:30pm, and Saturday, June 19th at 6pm. Go to www.moxietheatre.com for tickets.
Ticket sales close 10 minutes before each scheduled performance.
You will receive the link to join the performance of your choice 24 hours before the start.
This play is part of the SAY IT LOUD Juneteenth Festival organized by the Black Artist Collective, and it is suitable for all ages.
The Mango Tree
Written by and Starring Bibi Mama
Stage Manager – Beonica Bullard
Sound Designer – Melanie Chen Cole
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