As part of La MaMa's Experimental Theatre Club's 35th Anniversary celebration, the Off-Off-Broadway company will revive three Rhodessa Jones pieces to honor Jones' 17-year collaboration with saxophonist Idris Ackamoor. I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine runs Nov. 14-16, The Legend Of Lily Overstreet plays Nov. 21-23, and Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women runs Nov. 18 and Nov. 25.
Jones and Ackamoor are co-directors of San Francisco's Cultural Odyssey, which Ackamoor founded in 1979 and Jones joined in 1981. Jones made her La MaMa debut in 1986 with The Legend Of Lily Overstreet, a semi-autobiographical piece about the sexual politics of nude dancing that commented on the economic plight of black women and the hypocrisy of prosecuting peep show dancers while supporting similar titillation from Hollywood.
I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine (1990), a rhythm & blues play loosely based on the Ike & Tina Turner story, brought Ackamoor and Jones together. Ed Bullins wrote the book for the play, which toured throughout America, Europe and Japan. After Jones founded The Medea Project, a program of theatre for incacerated women in San Francisco, she and Ackamoor created 1992's Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women. That show, a series of character monologues for actress Jones, won a 1993 Bessie Award.
Tap dancer and saxophonist Ackamoor studied under Cecil Taylor and has received three NEA fellowships in jazz performance and composition. His other collaborations with Jones at La MaMa include Suppositions On History, An American Griot and Shoehorn.
For tickets ($12 per show) and information on the three Rhodessa Jones/Idris Ackamoor pieces at La MaMa ETC on East 4th St, call (212) 475-7710. -- By David Lefkowitz