Ricardo Pitts-Wiley has dusted off two historic short plays from the 1930s by Zora Neale Hurston and given them a realistic production at his Mixed Magic Theatre in Pawtucket.
“Sweat” stars Lauri Smalls as Delia, an abused woman who is physically and psychologically mistreated by her man (Mishell Lilly). The overpowering Sykes brings a young woman to their bed, torments Delia for doing white folks’ laundry, and then brings a rattlesnake into the house, scaring Delia half to death.
In this classic “turn-the-tables” tale, which you can see coming, Delia’s sweat turns to revenge.
Hurston’s “The Gilded Six Bits” presents a poor young couple, (Charmine Porter and Jomo Peters) madly in love, but tempted by gold. Into their lives comes a dapper ice cream man with gold teeth and a gold chain. Both are tempted by the devil of a man until the tables are cleverly turned.
Pitts-Wiley uses Carson and Peters to move both stories along, filling in the gaps from the short stories that serve as the base of the plays, with Kim Trusty adding some traditional music.
To be sure, the dialogue, plot and presentation are dated, and that adds to the enjoyment of the brief one-act plays. You can catch them at Mixed Magic Theatre through May 20, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m.
Mixed Magic is located at 560 Mineral Spring Ave. in Pawtucket. General Admission is $20, $10 for students and military. For reservations, call 305-7333 or go online at www.mmtri.com.