Judy’s Life Work – A Real TKO

"Judy's Life Work" at Definition Theatre , Photo: Joe Mazza
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The world premiere of Judy’s Life Work, written by Loy A. Webb, runs through February 25, 2024, at Definition Theatre, located at 1160 E 55th Street in Chicago.

Playwright Loy A. Webb lays a solid foundation while Michelle Renee Bester lays the brick-and-mortar, creating a powerful and riveting performance.

When a struggling former boxer, Xavier (Rashun Carter), is on the verge of losing his boxing gym, he decides to solicit help from his little sister Charli (Cereyna Jade Bougouneau). Unbeknownst to her, Xavier has already made a deal with his new girlfriend Camille (Kenesha Kristine Reed) to sell their deceased mother’s journal, which contained the formula that would regenerate human organs and limbs.

After Charli learns of his plans, a verbal battle ensues. Xavier reveals the deep-rooted hurt of his past, which he blames on their mother, Judy. Things get explosive, and he becomes emotionally charged as the bitter taste of hatred for his mother flows from his lips and how he never felt love from her or anyone else. Charli counters his verbal spews with reminders of how she was always there for him. How she loved and supported him throughout her life. She reminds him of her childhood sacrifice to make up for what he believed he never received from their mother.

During a brief struggle, Xavier is caught off guard by the findings in Charli’s bookbag. At that point, there is a shift, and his anger briefly diminishes. There is a moment of pause, and Charli reveals that she struggles to cope with the loss of their mother. Despite their closeness, there is an emotional wedge between them. Xavier won’t let go of the past, and Charli can’t change it. When you think there is no hope, love is the cure that changes the heart.

I loved the production of Judy’s Life Work. The storyline was good, and the acting was great. The actors were immersed in their characters and able to make you feel their emotions. There were several people, including myself, wiping tears from our eyes. I highly recommend this production. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased via the website or by calling 312-469-0390

Photo credits: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux


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