“Women of Soul” Theatre Review

“Women of Soul” a concert-style tribute to soul musicians from the 60s put on by FAU’s Black Undergraduate Theatre Collective, could have used more attention to detail.


Image courtesy of The Black Undergraduate Theatre Collective Instagram.

Elliot Rodriguez, Entertainment Editor

When the names Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Martha Reeves come out of the woodworks, Motown is probably the first thing that pops into people’s minds. Certainly not a pandemic, however.

The Black Undergraduate Theatre Collective put on “Women of Soul,” on Feb 6, 2021, from the FAU amphitheater. The cast portrayed their roles in fashion, pandemic fashion that is. While the singers on stage wore protective clear face shields that fogged up every time they sang, the band in the back wore black surgical masks, making it tough to be transported back to the 60s.

The show consisted of three major Motown stars: Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Martha Reeves, being played by three different FAU actresses. There were only two camera angles from, one angle that looked the singers dead on, and another that came from the actress’s left side whenever they were speaking.

The singers and the band did a great job with the actual music and keeping the audience fixated on them, the biggest thing that stood out to me was the saxophone player.

The saxophone player could be seen in the back left part of the amphitheater, playing his instrument with his mask on. All other participants of the band were fine since no other musician was playing an instrument that required air. Either the saxophone player has extremely powerful lungs, or that mask is really thin.

The band and singers were dressed in what seemed more like contemporary outfits, rather than outfits from the 60s. Such as black dresses and black attire for the men in the band. Only one singer, portraying Diana Ross, was seen wearing a beige and red dress with floral patterns.

The backdrop was one of the things that remotely resembled a 60s feel. The diamond structured backdrop changed throughout the tribute with vibrant lighting, ranging from warm hues of red and orange to cooler hues such as blue and purple.

The other piece of equipment that attributed a truly authentic texture, was the silver microphone stand mounted with the stereotypical vintage mic head. Even though it seemed vintage, the sound was still crystal clear.

While the musical tribute itself was good, a lot more attention to detail in the feel and atmosphere in the room needed to be taken into consideration. Someone could have edited the YouTube video to give it more of a vintage feel. Such as a filter or some impurities to capture more of a vintage atmosphere, since video wasn’t perfect back in those days.

“Women of Soul” can be seen on YouTube on The Black Undergraduate Theatre Collective’s channel.

Elliot Rodriguez is the Entertainment Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email him at [email protected] or Instagram @elliotyaknow.