Have you heard the new Ford Commercial on the radio? If so, you may have heard of Melissa Best aka Princess of Controversy. I first met her during my employment with Bus Boys and Poets on 14th and Vst. NW in Washington DC.
She was one of the coolest people there and I looked forward to going to work to have a few jokes with her. Now, some years have passed by and Princess is doing big things. This weekend, I went to her one woman play ALPHAB*TCH. The title itself is a little controversial, and I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. With no expectations and an open mind I traveled through the clean back alley of a long building, parked my car and went inside to find a small artist’s haven.
A small community theater Studio W, that seats fifty held this one woman show. She offered concession and great anticipation for her arrival to the stage. In Alphab*tch, she talks openly about the perceptions of women, black women in particular who are said to have attitudes. At one point she said, “It would take the knife of love to pierce her core.” I thought this was such a powerful line that bears the soul of many.
She mentioned at some point during the play that men often want to recruit women to be their help meet but do not offer the same level of support. She asks why men don’t ask women if they need help saying, “How can I assist you in your movement sista?” She went on to add, “Without my pussy or my pride being the exchange?” My mouth fell to the floor but the reality of this mindset with many men, not all men is very true.
Alphab*tch says, “I wouldn’t have to be this cold, it you were the slightest bit lukewarm.” This one woman play was honestly amazing from a viewer’s perspective. Even if you did not agree with anything she said, she is a brilliant actress and could make you a believer. She cried real tears on cue, it was uncomfortable to be in the moment. You almost wanted to scoop her up and rub her back or something. It was engaging and you thought you were in the room with one of your girlfriends having a conversation. It was fantastic.
She connected with the audience so fluidly, even having me to “spell check” her word colloquialism as she played the character of a small child with a high IQ. The timing of this play was impeccable. Have you ever been to a show and it seems like dead air? It seems like if the timing is off, you are ready to leave, and it ruins the moment? The timing was absolutely perfection. I was impressed. During the time changes Corina Wright from Howard University danced to various songs that fit the theme of the message. There were video opinions of questions that were asked on the theme. The videos were so funny and entertaining because it was regular people telling truly their opinion of something, and somehow that is just funny. There were guest appearances from some area artists that I haven’t seen in a long time including one of the members of the Hue-Man prophets, Jabari Exum.
There was a segment where she talked about friends and her descriptions were so on point. She goes to a place where she can cry ten seconds after she’s just made you laugh out loud. It was an emotional rollercoaster.
Princess of Controversy, or Princess as I affectionately call her, is an emcee/singer/actress/poet and has been featured in Missy Elliot’s Road to Stardom, HBO’s The Wire, and TV One’s David E. Talbert’s Stage Black.
She calls our va-jay-jay (vagina) “the port of consummation”. I would not recommend this for any Christian children personally but in her presentation about the sexual alphab*tch, she engaged the audience again by putting a black approximately 10 inch rubber penis in my hand. I guess that’s what happens when you sit on the front row. Some guy from the back said in the midst of laughter, “Aye look at how she grabbed that joint.” I guess he was referring to the fact that I weren’t scared. I had confidence. That’s funny.
There are nice surprises in this homage to women. The one thing she said that hit home today is that being a girl is hard. I get discriminated against for being black, full figured, having locks, for being a Christian, for having the name Ressurrection, and finally for being a woman.
In my final thought of Alphab*tch, I will quote Princess saying, “Ladies, don’t cut and paste.”
For more information about Princess please check out: www.artsperts.com
Studio W is located 628 W st. NE Washington DC off of 5th and Rhode Island Ave. behind the McDonald’s. They can be reached at 202.269.3629