‘Mama’s Girls 2’ takes on diabetes
by Rhonda Simmons
Playwright Garrett Davis sprinkled humor and spiritual songs throughout his powerful play “Mama’s Girls 2: Sugar Ain’t Sweet,” which tackles diabetes.
Davis often explains how essential it is to learn through entertainment.
Set in Culpeper on Saturday, the play — which is the sequel to Mama’s Girls — picks up with Sonya ‘Baby Girl’ (Julie Logan) learning about her diabetes diagnosis.
At first, her four outspoken sisters: Bre (Kynay Milam), Paulette (LaTonya Simms), Ruthie Mae (Samantha McSwain) and Ke-Ke (Keya Hamilton) are upset that Baby Girl neglected to inform them about her recently diagnosed disease.
But it doesn’t take long for the close-knit sisters to band together to support their youngest sister, who learns she’s not even their real sister. Even though Baby Girl knows the mother who raised her wasn’t her real mom, she doesn’t hesitate to take care of Mama, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during Mama’s Girls.
During Saturday’s show at the State Theatre, Bre and Baby Girl’s boyfriend Michael (Deon Jones) picked up some diabetes pamphlets to share with Baby Girl.
“It talks about blood sugar and glucose and how to control your blood,” explained Bre. “She really has to manage her life now that she’s Type 2 diabetic. She’s going to have to start exercising and taking better control of her diet. This brochure says ‘You have to reduce the time that you are still by getting up and moving every 90 minutes.’”
Keke, the flirtatious sister, also suggested Baby Girl eat more vegetables while Paulette, the ditzy one, recommended salads, which Paulette mispronounced, like she often does.
Ruthie Mae, the oldest, most outspoken sister, suggested that Baby Girl plan her meals better, stressing the importance of portion sizes.
While tackling the tough subject of diabetes, the ‘Mama’s Girls’ cast also belted out several songs, including Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and a timely tribute to Prince, who died unexpectedly on Thursday. Paulette sang a funny rendition of “Kiss,” getting the audience to join in on the joyful jam session.
However, the funniest moment of the 3 p.m. show occurred when Ruthie Mae’s ponytail fell on the floor just before she began to sing “Respect.” A consummate professional, McSwain kept right on performing, letting her real hair down while she continued to ad lib her lines.
But things turned serious again when Jasmine (Chanel Young), Baby Girl’s biological sister, shows up at her doorstep to inform Baby Girl that they are actually biological sisters and the reason their mom couldn’t raise Baby Girl is because their mother suffered from a mental illness.
In the end, Ruthie Mae apologized to Baby Girl for letting things get out of hand.
“I’m the oldest out of all of y’all and it’s my responsibility to make sure things are the way they should be and I have not been here for you, even to help you with Mama. I just couldn’t accept the fact of losing my mother. I could not do it,” said Ruthie Mae told Baby Girl.
Before the show, Davis told the audience that his play “Mama’s Girl 2” belongs to Culpeper since it debuted here on Saturday.