Saturday, October 7, 2023

"Nollywood Dreams" ★ ★ ★ ★

Jocelyn Bioh and San Francisco Playhouse have given us a big laugh and a welcome lift with Bioh's "Nollywood Dreams." Taking place in Lagos, within the growing Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood,  we meet Ayamma (Angel Adedokun), an aspiring actress who runs a travel agency with her sister Dede (Brittany Sims). Ayamma wants to audition for a new film directed by hotshot Gbenga Ezie (Tre'vonne Bell, on right, above).

The problem is that Gbenga has already promised the role to his ex-girlfriend Fayola (Anna Marie Sharpe).

There are entertaining roles by Tanika Baptiste, who plays talk-show host Adenikeh, and Jordan Covington as Wale, the love interest of all Nigeria, who is to co-sar in the film. 

No one expects a romance between Wale and Ayamma, nor are we ready for Dede's expert use of pharmaceuticals. And underneath all the banter, there is also the backdrop of class in Nigeria. Everyone has a secret they are trying to hide. These secrets become more apparent as the show progresses.

 We loved the relationship of the two sisters -- Ayamma, seemingly the more sophisticated, who, in the end, must rely on Dede to apply the finishing touch to Ayamma's audition. 

"Nollywood Dreams" is just what we need: a light-hearted and entertaining piece of writing and acting. Congratulations to San Francisco Playhouse, as their 21st season begins, for finding one more off-center show, filled with fun and laughs.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division grants FOUR STARS to "Nollywood Dreams." Special  shoutouts to Adedokun and Sims for their roles as the two appealing sisters Ayamma and Dede, and to Baptiste for her hysterical stint as over-the-top Oprah wannabe Adenikeh. Bill English has crafted another terrific set that has us excited the moment we set foot in the theater. Well done, everyone.

"Nollywood Dreams"

San Francisco Playhouse

2450 Post Street, San Francisco (2d Floor of Kensington Park Hotel)

Through Nov 4, 2023


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