"Love of Money" provides money's worth
Part II of "Love of Money" started a bit late and shakily on night two but when it did it was thrilling.
The dream team's director ventured to have a prison setting juxtaposed with a living room by contrasting a physical prison and spirituality.
If one had not seen the first part of the production then the dialogue revealed that Jackson was on his way to being imprisoned for forgery after having been arrested and found guilty. In prison, he is met by seasoned criminal 'Clinton', the God-fearing 'Jamesey' and homo-sexual 'Clem'.
Between Clem's sexual advances towards the "fresh meat"-Jackson- a battle for Jackson's ensued. Jamesey, who acknowledged his wrong-doings and therefore his incarceration, tries to assist Jackson to remain positive and on the straight and narrow despite his predicament. Meanwhile, the cunning evil atheist Clinton tries as best as he can to lure and prepare Jackson to even more criminal activity after he serves his term.
Like Satan he brings Jackson to the mountain top as he paints a life filled with money, fortune and fame to be achieved by devious means, never to get caught! But the slick- talking Harvard graduate has his work cut out for him as the Bible-wielding Jamesey presents an alternate route to "riches", that fulfilment of the soul.
Meanwhile, the attention of theatre lovers is directed to stage right at the Jackson family's residence where his wife, Joy, and daughter Joyan are really 'sucking salt' as bread winners and seemingly the sole provider is serving time at the prison. "Uncle Charlie" the self-appointed care-taker of the family is more than willing to assist saying that his brother left him in charge.
The satirical Joyan is not making matters easier; she was not tactful about her levels of hunger and deprivation-no juice, no light, not even ice to give Uncle Charlie a drink. This dire situation was getting the better of her mother's faith and brought to light her materialism which had previously forced Jackson into trying to live like the Jones's.
At first she is not so fond of Uncle Charlie assuming Jackson's role but when she hears that millions were bequeathed to him by some relative, she is beginning to accept that only deceitful people seem to prosper and so tries to get to his heart and eventually his money through his love for food.
It was "Agatha", her friend, who observed "Money can make a saint go mad" and under her breath in Charlie's presence "You worth more to them dead than alive". "Joy" had signal her intentions very early when she paid a visit to her husband, Jackson, which really captured an emotional moment when Jackson wept bitterly as the vigilant warden ensured that there was no touching of the parties even as his wife complained that their daughter " Joy" had to resort to candles to study. This was a touching moment as Jackson's tears seem to evoke the same from the gripped audience.
Jackson by then had adapted to conditions in prison; the pink, blue and various colors of pig meat, not having a pillow to lay his head and the stench which Clinton described as far from holy (referring to Jamesey) emanating from the pail in which they did their "number one, two and two and a half." In six months he would be out. Still he made several request to see the Prison Chief about matters which the writer/director held back as part of the suspense.
It was now time for Clinton to pile on the pressure and he presented his offshore bank scheme and his overseas friend who would soon pay a visit to the jail to prepare him for his "banking" duties.
The ever inquisitive "Clem" overheard and kept Jamesey in the loop. As a result "Clem" became enemy number one and was always at the receiving end of physical abuse by the bully, Clinton. Several times Jackson had to intervene citing that "Clem" was a human being but the Harvard- criminal countered "but he's not being human" -a play on words, which delighted the audience.
Back at the Jackson's home things were a little better as Charlie took care of things and even went on to get his MBA while acknowledging that some people with MBA's cannot even manage themselves, far less a business. Other socio-political satire was injected by script writer Peter Panthier as "Joyan" played up Uncle Charlie as having obtained an "honorary doctorate"- 'Doctor Charlie' and the exploitation of the elderly revealing so called care-takers being only interested in their property was brought to light.
A wonderful intonation of a French business woman in the person of 'Clevette Charles' did arrived with her proposal for the offshore scheme which was flatly rejected by Jackson. This prompted a berate Clinton seeing no way out, to challenge, that if Jackson and Jamesey sentences would be reduced by some magic, he would then agree that in fact there was a God.
No sooner had he said this, the warden revealed that the president had indeed granted a pardon to Jackson and Jamesey. This prompted the men to fall down and worship and true to his word, even Clinton broke down recognizing the authority of God.
Finally for 'Joy', it sank home that "riches have nothing to do with money", and so a delightful home coming and a reunion was eminent. Jah Cure's 'behind these prison walls' somber theme transformed to the popular West Indies "Champion " song. Good had won over evil!
These members of the cast stood off: Kimon Jean Jacques (as Jackson); Calvin Deraveriere (Clinton); Kacy St John (Clem) who provided comic relief, as well as "Joy" and little "Joyan". A good effort by director Daniel Leslie and Writer Peter Panthier- the Dream Team and the Deliverance Baptist Church should be proud of this latest production, not just for the entertainment value but the strength of the message.