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Homework

KimmiCat Prods. presents a comedy revue in two acts written by Kim Coles and Charles Randolph-Wright. Directed by Randolph-Wright; set design, Yael Pardess; costumes , Darryle Johnson; lighting, Doug Smith; sound, Ben Patrick Johnson. Opened Jan. 6, 1996, reviewed Jan. 7; closes Jan. 18. Running time: 2 hours, 20 min. TX:Cast: Kim Coles, Shaun Baker, Scotch Ellis Loring, Wolfgang Bodison, Gustavo Rex. Homework" is a fresh, funny ensemble piece that takes a skewed look at life and entertainingly tells us to "sit back and enjoy the ride." Kim Coles, from Fox-TV's "Living Single," has added shadings to characters from her nightclub act and put them in a series of vignettes about growing up, getting educated and finding a niche. But what's more interesting is her decidedly comic, Afrocentric view. Coles portrays all three on a stage of oversized chalkboards, bringing each to life through a quick change in hairstyle or walk.

KimmiCat Prods. presents a comedy revue in two acts written by Kim Coles and Charles Randolph-Wright. Directed by Randolph-Wright; set design, Yael Pardess; costumes , Darryle Johnson; lighting, Doug Smith; sound, Ben Patrick Johnson. Opened Jan. 6, 1996, reviewed Jan. 7; closes Jan. 18. Running time: 2 hours, 20 min. TX:Cast: Kim Coles, Shaun Baker, Scotch Ellis Loring, Wolfgang Bodison, Gustavo Rex. Homework” is a fresh, funny ensemble piece that takes a skewed look at life and entertainingly tells us to “sit back and enjoy the ride.” Kim Coles, from Fox-TV’s “Living Single,” has added shadings to characters from her nightclub act and put them in a series of vignettes about growing up, getting educated and finding a niche. But what’s more interesting is her decidedly comic, Afrocentric view. Coles portrays all three on a stage of oversized chalkboards, bringing each to life through a quick change in hairstyle or walk.

She is amply helped by Scotch Ellis Loring, Gustavo Rex, Shaun Baker and Wolfgang Bodison as the boys/men of their lives.

Using dark clothing and spartan props, the ensemble explores all the fun of childhood, from playing multicultural Twister to sneaking a kiss.

The first act also contains of many references to cultural icons from the ’70 s that African-American audiences will find familiar, from throwaway lines –“I don’t care what Damita Jo Freeman is doing on ‘Soul Train’ “– to the Afro-sheen-spraying dad who tries to talk hip to his daughter.

Highlights include a dead-on graduation scene in which all three characters graduate from different high schools. Angela has gone to a fine arts school and gives a “sho’nuff” speech;, Kim gives the cliched, perfunctory talk at her neighborhood school.

While much of this revue is just plain fun, it does touch on the serious side , including an exploration of date rape.

Coles often returns to some of the characters — Latina Maria Conchita, giving a hygiene lesson; Susan Lipshitz; sorority girl Pinilope Montique — she has showcased on talkshows and the comedy circuit.

Coles’ second act draws heavily on her own life as a former model, comic and actress, depicting the three main characters’ adult lives. It plays like “Dreamgirls” vs. “Valley of the Dolls.”

What we learn about the three women, however, drives the piece into the familiar what-happens-after-friends-grow-apart mold.

Homework

(The Actors' Gang Theater; 124 seats; $ 18)

Production: The semi-autobiographical piece follows the lives of three best friends: Angela, a Jamaican beauty whom all the boys want to kiss; Shakronda Stephanie Malika Jackson, a smart "girl from the 'hood" who uses big words incorrectly; and Kim, a nice girl with a good disposition.

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