Love, Locs & Liberation

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 18

This play weaves together Ella Turenne's own stories of struggles with identity and beauty. From rituals that Black women hold in relation with their hair, to Ella's experience as an American woman with strong ties to her Haitian culture, the play explores many deeply personal issues. Blending poetry, song and humor, Ella unlocks the history of locs experienced by Black women, revealing many mishaps and triumphs. Through the eyes of 21 different characters, a 5th grade bully to Madam CJ Walker, she exposes the hair connection – to politics, identity and culture, illustrating why hair is an intimate and essential part of Black life.

Reviews

Ella Turenne shines in this one-woman-play, that features the highlights and the lowlights of a black women's hair experience. Her play takes the audience on a journey, as she weaves in and out of periods of her life; from the pressure to straighten her hair to be accepted, to feeling empowered in locs, to embracing her natural curls. You don't need to be of African ancestry, be a woman or have curly hair to appreciate this piece. It speaks to the heart and the human experience and leaves us wanting more from this talented playwright, artist and scholar.

sweet - Jennifer Cuevas


WOW!!! What an absolutely, spectacular show! Ella is a powerful, beautiful, intelligent writer and performer. Capturing the stage with a presence of humility mixed with utter joy, peace, and understanding of the human experience, Ella creates a space of love for the Black womxn's voice. She is truly meant to be on the stage and spread knowledge. At least every other line is chalk full of history that matters, history that you don't learn in school. The fact that Ella devoted herself to this work of art is apparent when you listen to the research behind each line. The story itself evolves in a very accessible manner, and Ella successfully validates the Black womxn's experience by showing how unique that experience is. It's a unique voice that many try to hide, shame, and quiet; instead, Ella stands true to herself. Thank you for bringing this powerful, amazing piece of art, history, hope, and love to the stage!!

sweet - Tali


Excellent! This show was better than I'd hoped it would be from the fun music that had me bobbing my head before the show even started to Ella Turenne's enthusiastic, energetic entrance. This spirited pep kept a smile on my face throughout except when Ella treated us to intimate heartache and hardships in her life which she presented with pure vulnerability and grace. Ms. Turenne superbly transformed into each and every character. She nailed accents and personalities and made each one distinct. We really got to know the people in her life. I also enjoyed her spoken word performances. What's more, the show taught me a few things I didn't know before seeing it. One of my few critiques is that I wish she had taken time with some of the tiny moments, but if she didn't change a thing, the show would still be fantastic! Also, she mentioned the term “Good Hair” while portraying her brother and I wish she had taken the time to expound on what that term has meant and means now in Black communities. That said, I understand the challenge presented therein and perhaps there was the issue of time.

sweet - TEHANA WEEKS


I loved this show because each of her characters were so relatable! I have encountered versions of those characters in my own life and in my personal hair story! Her performance was brilliant and I'd love to take my sister, mother, cousins, and friends to see this incredible play!

sweet - Alex LaRosa


Kudos to Ella Turenne and Love, Locs & Liberation! I could so relate to her journey, as a black woman with kinky hair, having experienced a similar one. But really anyone will be able to relate. It's a journey about acceptance and embracing who you are. About defining beauty and life on your own terms. Ella beautifully executed that through her fun and relatable characters and life story. Can't wait to see what's next from this one!

sweet - Pamela Shaddock


As a white woman I may not be able to relate on the hair particulars but I can relate on what we all go through to reach our ideal of beautiful. Also the trials of fitting into our peer groups at school, and not being in the popular crowd. All of Ella's characters were genuine and heartfelt. I feel like I've met some of them in real life. Such a an entertaining and enlightening evening!

sweet - Nancy MacLeod


WHAT I LIKED It was like sitting with your best friend, an exploration of Black Women's hair and the several techniques (or should I say torture) that she had to go through to straighten her hair against her mother's advise. It's a celebration of life and the knowledge that hair doesn't define you. Great message. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE An extension on Love, Loc and Liberation so more audiences see this. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Ella Turenne explores her different stages dealing with her hair, a teenage crush, tragedy, love and self discovery. A powerful and electric performance that touches your heart and never leaves you.

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


A wonderful, amazing one woman show about growing up with black hair. LL&L showcases universal themes, taking you down memory lane with great music, hilarious relatable stories, and heart breaking personal connections. Highly recommend. Wonderfully executed and performed by the tour-de-force Ella Turenne. Not to be missed!

sweet - Richard McDonald


As a woman with naturally curly hair who suffered the indignities of what had to be done to keep it straight and in style during my teen years, I certainly appreciate the sentiments Ella Turenne expressed during her show, "Love, Locs & Liberation." Her goal as a big and beautiful black woman was to share how spiritually uplifting it becomes when you realize you are not your hair, but the soul within that shines brightly no matter what may cover your head. Navigating the tale from her decision to undergo "The Big Chop" and become bald after an unfortunate experience after a perm, Turenne takes us on a journey through the many people in her life that each had an opinion about her hair and how to handle it, always keeping in mind to do your hair to be respectful in order to succeed in business. After all, as she recalls, "nappy" is the other N word. I certainly remember my Mom giving me that lecture too as she attempted to straighten my hair using many of the same methods Turenne demonstrated during the show. All of her characterizations were spot on, from her BFF Flo, neighbor Nancy (a typical New Yorker), an original French "curly girl" hater, her school nemesis Shawna with the most beautiful long and fine hair, to her friend Ella with whom she recounts her teenage crush with Ricky Gaines which led her to that fateful perm - the "creamy crack" drug for every woman who struggles with taming her hair. The message to just remember "it's only hair" and YOU are the one that matters most, certainly rings true for me. Many photos were shared along the way, providing examples from the stories being told. I'd like to see the show in a longer format where more stories could be shared with longer visits with each of Turenne's many entertaining characters.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


INCREDIBLE Show! Super funny and such a delight to see Ella doing her thing on stage. I was laughing the entire time especially when she invoked her Mother's voice English with a Haitian Accent and that had me in stitches all night because I swear Haitian Mom's read from the same handbook! LOL This reminds me of when I was growing up and experiencing my female peers go through their hair journeys. The show speaks volumes about what it means to have black hair.

sweet - Tertulien Thomas, Jr


With charming wit and historical precision, Ella Turenne weaves a tale of family, coming of age and cultural identity based on scalding lessons of self-love. Wrapped in a tightly braided colonial past, LL&L effortlessly detangels the complex and highly political nature of black women's hair. This piece snatches the wig off the trauma of living under the tyranny of white standards of beauty to reveal the scars permanently etched into the psyche of little black girls. Turenne's masterful storytelling and graceful physicality pull her audience into a vulnerability so deeply sincere that their scalps can't help but tingle! Not advised for the tender-headed nor the French.

sweet - Maude Bond


Ella Turenne is a visionary...a gift from the theatrical Gods. Her writing is masterful, intelligent and sublime. The audience was riveted by her uncanny ability to turn a phrase and capture the humanity, drama and scariness that something as basic as HAIR can induce! The amazing surprise was that, as a Black Woman, I assumed I would know her WHOLE story but the way Ella weaves her tale truly let me in...in a way that was unexpected, yet kind. I could read or LISTEN to her brilliant play all day! But that would be a sad day because I would miss out on seeing her bright, gorgeous face on stage. So cancel that plan of merely listening to her sharp words: I NEED TO SEE ELLA PERFORM this powerful and timely play! And so do you. The humor and heart Ella pours into her character showed how much this story means to her and how profoundly her “hair history” has impacted her life. After just one hour, I walked away feeling connected to Ella's family AND her journey in ways you often don't get access to after even years of knowing someone. So thank you theater Gods for sharing Ella Turenne with us; and THANK YOU Ella for sharing your gifts with me!

sweet - Nia Kilgore


As a Black woman I know all too well how we have this on/off again affair with our hair. It has grown with us. And we've taken it through some changes from different hairstyles, colors, choice of products. But what Ella Turenne does beautifully is show is that we are not alone. We are her Haitian mother. We are her childhood best friend. Each event growing up was a matter of life and death in whatever way we were trying to express ourselves with our hair. Every Black women has been where each of these characters take us in our own personal journeys. Why? Because Ella's journey of her obsession with her hair is my journey and obsession with my hair. I have had mad love with my locs. And once I did the 'big chop', I have became liberated. Love, Locs, and Liberation sets us all free with the one thing we as Black identify with and that's our relationship with our hair. I loved this show and recommend anyone seeing it before Hollywood Fringe closes.

sweet - Tamiyka White


A wonderful show; it was well written, performed with delightful panache, and professionally produced. Brava to Ella Turenne and her crew!

sweet - Danielle Moody


A wonderful exploration of one woman's journey with her hair. Even though it's a specific experience, the story is very accessible and fun for anyone.

sweet - Heather


Okay, girlfriend. This story is REALLY about hair. I mean, damn it is REALLY. ABOUT. HAIR. But so what? It was fun, cool, neat, different, and a fine piece of visionary lady. Solo shows are hard as (expletive deleted for the kiddies and Conservs out there) but this lady (Ms. Turenne if you're nasty) held her own and played it through. 100% worth seeing, and this from someone who is nearly as concerned about his great-ass head topping.

sweet - DropDeadSexy


Ella uses the journey of black hair from girlhood to womanhood as a vessel in which to capture the complexities of discovering self and cultivating identity while navigating the intricacies of racism, self-deprecation, cultural codes, and empowerment that is the black experience. Love, Locs, & Liberation is a wonderful weaving of humor, celebration, nostalgia, and social commentary. Never a dull moment. You don't need to be black, or a woman to be captured and moved by this story and you SHOULD see it, but if you are black, and a woman, then you damn sure NEED to see it!

sweet - Eden Jeffries


Love, Locs and liberation is a beautiful story of a woman learning to love herself through the journey of learning to love her hair. Ella's masterful storytelling, exuberance, honesty, and rawness keeps you glued to her performance as you meet a host of characters—including her mother and her childhood hairstylist. I was able to relate to every moment of the journey and can't wait to bring my daughter and friends back to bear witness to this hilarious story of learning to love yourself outside of the social constructs of what society deems beautiful.

sweet - Monique Hankerson


Phenomenal show addressing her experiences with the different phases of her hair. I can relate! Enjoyed the energy and walk down memory lane with my own hair issues!

sweet - DeEdra Lawrence


As a woman with naturally curly hair who suffered the indignities of what had to be done to keep it straight and in style during my teen years, I certainly appreciate the sentiments Ella Turenne expressed during her show, "Love, Locs & Liberation." Her goal as a big and beautiful black woman was to share how spiritually uplifting it becomes when you realize you are not your hair, but the soul within that shines brightly no matter what may cover your head. Navigating the tale from her decision to undergo "The Big Chop" and become bald after an unfortunate experience after a perm, Turenne takes us on a journey through the many people in her life that each had an opinion about her hair and how to handle it, always keeping in mind to do your hair to be respectful in order to succeed in business. After all, as she recalls, "nappy" is the other N word. I certainly remember my Mom giving me that lecture too as she attempted to straighten my hair using many of the same methods Turenne demonstrated during the show. All of her characterizations were spot on, from her BFF Flo, neighbor Nancy (a typical New Yorker), an original French "curly girl" hater, her school nemesis Shawna with the most beautiful long and fine hair, to her friend Ella with whom she recounts her teenage crush with Ricky Gaines which led her to that fateful perm - the "creamy crack" drug for every woman who struggles with taming her hair. The message to just remember "it's only hair" and YOU are the one that matters most, certainly rings true for me. Many photos were shared along the way, providing examples from the stories being told. I'd like to see the show in a longer format where more stories could be shared with longer visits with each of Turenne's many entertaining characters.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Ella Turenne shines in this one-woman-play, that features the highlights and the lowlights of a black women's hair experience. Her play takes the audience on a journey, as she weaves in and out of periods of her life; from the pressure to straighten her hair to be accepted, to feeling empowered in locs, to embracing her natural curls. You don't need to be of African ancestry, be a woman or have curly hair to appreciate this piece. It speaks to the heart and the human experience and leaves us wanting more from this talented playwright, artist and scholar.

sweet - Jennifer Cuevas


WOW!!! What an absolutely, spectacular show! Ella is a powerful, beautiful, intelligent writer and performer. Capturing the stage with a presence of humility mixed with utter joy, peace, and understanding of the human experience, Ella creates a space of love for the Black womxn's voice. She is truly meant to be on the stage and spread knowledge. At least every other line is chalk full of history that matters, history that you don't learn in school. The fact that Ella devoted herself to this work of art is apparent when you listen to the research behind each line. The story itself evolves in a very accessible manner, and Ella successfully validates the Black womxn's experience by showing how unique that experience is. It's a unique voice that many try to hide, shame, and quiet; instead, Ella stands true to herself. Thank you for bringing this powerful, amazing piece of art, history, hope, and love to the stage!!

sweet - Tali


Excellent! This show was better than I'd hoped it would be from the fun music that had me bobbing my head before the show even started to Ella Turenne's enthusiastic, energetic entrance. This spirited pep kept a smile on my face throughout except when Ella treated us to intimate heartache and hardships in her life which she presented with pure vulnerability and grace. Ms. Turenne superbly transformed into each and every character. She nailed accents and personalities and made each one distinct. We really got to know the people in her life. I also enjoyed her spoken word performances. What's more, the show taught me a few things I didn't know before seeing it. One of my few critiques is that I wish she had taken time with some of the tiny moments, but if she didn't change a thing, the show would still be fantastic! Also, she mentioned the term “Good Hair” while portraying her brother and I wish she had taken the time to expound on what that term has meant and means now in Black communities. That said, I understand the challenge presented therein and perhaps there was the issue of time.

sweet - TEHANA WEEKS


I loved this show because each of her characters were so relatable! I have encountered versions of those characters in my own life and in my personal hair story! Her performance was brilliant and I'd love to take my sister, mother, cousins, and friends to see this incredible play!

sweet - Alex LaRosa


Kudos to Ella Turenne and Love, Locs & Liberation! I could so relate to her journey, as a black woman with kinky hair, having experienced a similar one. But really anyone will be able to relate. It's a journey about acceptance and embracing who you are. About defining beauty and life on your own terms. Ella beautifully executed that through her fun and relatable characters and life story. Can't wait to see what's next from this one!

sweet - Pamela Shaddock


As a white woman I may not be able to relate on the hair particulars but I can relate on what we all go through to reach our ideal of beautiful. Also the trials of fitting into our peer groups at school, and not being in the popular crowd. All of Ella's characters were genuine and heartfelt. I feel like I've met some of them in real life. Such a an entertaining and enlightening evening!

sweet - Nancy MacLeod


WHAT I LIKED It was like sitting with your best friend, an exploration of Black Women's hair and the several techniques (or should I say torture) that she had to go through to straighten her hair against her mother's advise. It's a celebration of life and the knowledge that hair doesn't define you. Great message. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE An extension on Love, Loc and Liberation so more audiences see this. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Ella Turenne explores her different stages dealing with her hair, a teenage crush, tragedy, love and self discovery. A powerful and electric performance that touches your heart and never leaves you.

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


A wonderful, amazing one woman show about growing up with black hair. LL&L showcases universal themes, taking you down memory lane with great music, hilarious relatable stories, and heart breaking personal connections. Highly recommend. Wonderfully executed and performed by the tour-de-force Ella Turenne. Not to be missed!

sweet - Richard McDonald


INCREDIBLE Show! Super funny and such a delight to see Ella doing her thing on stage. I was laughing the entire time especially when she invoked her Mother's voice English with a Haitian Accent and that had me in stitches all night because I swear Haitian Mom's read from the same handbook! LOL This reminds me of when I was growing up and experiencing my female peers go through their hair journeys. The show speaks volumes about what it means to have black hair.

sweet - Tertulien Thomas, Jr


With charming wit and historical precision, Ella Turenne weaves a tale of family, coming of age and cultural identity based on scalding lessons of self-love. Wrapped in a tightly braided colonial past, LL&L effortlessly detangels the complex and highly political nature of black women's hair. This piece snatches the wig off the trauma of living under the tyranny of white standards of beauty to reveal the scars permanently etched into the psyche of little black girls. Turenne's masterful storytelling and graceful physicality pull her audience into a vulnerability so deeply sincere that their scalps can't help but tingle! Not advised for the tender-headed nor the French.

sweet - Maude Bond


Ella Turenne is a visionary...a gift from the theatrical Gods. Her writing is masterful, intelligent and sublime. The audience was riveted by her uncanny ability to turn a phrase and capture the humanity, drama and scariness that something as basic as HAIR can induce! The amazing surprise was that, as a Black Woman, I assumed I would know her WHOLE story but the way Ella weaves her tale truly let me in...in a way that was unexpected, yet kind. I could read or LISTEN to her brilliant play all day! But that would be a sad day because I would miss out on seeing her bright, gorgeous face on stage. So cancel that plan of merely listening to her sharp words: I NEED TO SEE ELLA PERFORM this powerful and timely play! And so do you. The humor and heart Ella pours into her character showed how much this story means to her and how profoundly her “hair history” has impacted her life. After just one hour, I walked away feeling connected to Ella's family AND her journey in ways you often don't get access to after even years of knowing someone. So thank you theater Gods for sharing Ella Turenne with us; and THANK YOU Ella for sharing your gifts with me!

sweet - Nia Kilgore


As a Black woman I know all too well how we have this on/off again affair with our hair. It has grown with us. And we've taken it through some changes from different hairstyles, colors, choice of products. But what Ella Turenne does beautifully is show is that we are not alone. We are her Haitian mother. We are her childhood best friend. Each event growing up was a matter of life and death in whatever way we were trying to express ourselves with our hair. Every Black women has been where each of these characters take us in our own personal journeys. Why? Because Ella's journey of her obsession with her hair is my journey and obsession with my hair. I have had mad love with my locs. And once I did the 'big chop', I have became liberated. Love, Locs, and Liberation sets us all free with the one thing we as Black identify with and that's our relationship with our hair. I loved this show and recommend anyone seeing it before Hollywood Fringe closes.

sweet - Tamiyka White


A wonderful show; it was well written, performed with delightful panache, and professionally produced. Brava to Ella Turenne and her crew!

sweet - Danielle Moody


A wonderful exploration of one woman's journey with her hair. Even though it's a specific experience, the story is very accessible and fun for anyone.

sweet - Heather


Okay, girlfriend. This story is REALLY about hair. I mean, damn it is REALLY. ABOUT. HAIR. But so what? It was fun, cool, neat, different, and a fine piece of visionary lady. Solo shows are hard as (expletive deleted for the kiddies and Conservs out there) but this lady (Ms. Turenne if you're nasty) held her own and played it through. 100% worth seeing, and this from someone who is nearly as concerned about his great-ass head topping.

sweet - DropDeadSexy


Ella uses the journey of black hair from girlhood to womanhood as a vessel in which to capture the complexities of discovering self and cultivating identity while navigating the intricacies of racism, self-deprecation, cultural codes, and empowerment that is the black experience. Love, Locs, & Liberation is a wonderful weaving of humor, celebration, nostalgia, and social commentary. Never a dull moment. You don't need to be black, or a woman to be captured and moved by this story and you SHOULD see it, but if you are black, and a woman, then you damn sure NEED to see it!

sweet - Eden Jeffries


Love, Locs and liberation is a beautiful story of a woman learning to love herself through the journey of learning to love her hair. Ella's masterful storytelling, exuberance, honesty, and rawness keeps you glued to her performance as you meet a host of characters—including her mother and her childhood hairstylist. I was able to relate to every moment of the journey and can't wait to bring my daughter and friends back to bear witness to this hilarious story of learning to love yourself outside of the social constructs of what society deems beautiful.

sweet - Monique Hankerson


Phenomenal show addressing her experiences with the different phases of her hair. I can relate! Enjoyed the energy and walk down memory lane with my own hair issues!

sweet - DeEdra Lawrence