Sisters | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

In Sisters, now at New Horizons Theatre, two African-American women find themselves, due to a power outage, trapped in an Atlanta skyscraper. Olivia is a high-powered ad exec and Cassie is on the janitorial staff, and both women want to be anywhere but where they are.

There's any number of interesting ideas in this play, with issues of gender, race and class swirling around in the mix. And perhaps if anybody other than Marsha A. Jackson had written it, Sisters might be worth something.

But Jackson's writing is continually tripped up by its own logic, and she seems incapable of going any further than clichés and feel-good sentimentality.

In her defense, however, I say "perhaps," because maybe what I saw wasn't Jackson's doing: Due to illness, one of the original actresses in the production dropped out. And while there's no question that Brenda Marks, as Cassie, and understudy Kim El, as Oliva, were doing everything humanly possible to get through the show in one piece, it was painfully clear that an audience (and especially a critic) shouldn't have been there to see it.

Sisters continues through Feb. 25. Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. 412-431-0733

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