ALBANY — On June 1-11, the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate NY, Inc. (BTTUNY) presents “Hoodoo Love” by Katori Hall at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. The upcoming production marks the end of the 2022–2023 season for the BTTUNY.
“Hoodoo Love” is a captivating play about love, magic, jealousy, and secrets. When a woman named Toulou escapes the cotton fields of Mississippi in the 1930s to pursue her dream of becoming a blues singer, she encounters a blues musician named Ace of Spades. Ace of Spades’ restlessness puts Toulou’s love to the test, and she seeks out the guidance of her neighbor, Candylady, to help her.
“It’s a love story,” Producing Artistic Director Jean-Remy Monnay said. “It’s what attracted me to it. it’s not only an exciting play, but it educates people about a certain culture.”
Hall’s evocative writing captures the blues and history,and tells the story of how Toulou’s dreams are realized in ways she could never have imagined. Creative Artist Board President Sheilah London Miller said, “Hoodoo Love” is an unsentimental, even brutal look at life in Memphis in the 1930s.
“I believe everyone, audience and actors alike, can relate in some way to Toulou’s plight in this familiar and intense love story about a small woman with a big voice who escapes her turmoil-ridden life with hopes of gaining fame and becoming a star,” London Miller said.
Monnay said he’s hoping to stage more of Hall’s work in the future.
“I love Katori Hall because she does my kinds of plays – exciting plays, plays that make people think, say things that people haven’t heard before. Her writing and her stories are interesting. And she’s a Black playwright. I try to promote Black playwrights because there aren’t enough plays that promote playwrights of color.”
London Miller called the end of the BTTUNY season “bittersweet” but is looking ahead to new productions.
“We had a wonderful run, full of exciting, eye-opening, fun, fabulous, and rewarding shows to satisfy the theater lover in you,” she said. “I never want to stop the magic!”
Four productions for the upcoming 2024–2025 season are planned. The first production will begin in October, with a second in February 2024. Two productions are planned for June 2024. Further details will be announced in June 2023.
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students.