Review: Pay a Visit to Jaja's African Hair Braiding

October 4, 2023, 12:50.57 am ET  

Photo: Joan Marcus                                                                                     

By Brian Scott Lipton

A group of women in a hair salon – customers and stylists alike – bicker, bluster and bond, especially when one faces an unexpected tragedy. Yes, on the surface Jocelyn Bioh’s world premiere play, “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding,” now being given an extraordinary production at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, bears a superficial resemblance to that theatrical staple, “Steel Magnolias.” But Bioh’s work, set in Harlem in 2019, is richer, often funnier, and – above all, decidedly more political than Robert Harling’s play – and should hopefully find itself produced just as often in years to come. Continue reading...


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