"Following the most specific formula for writing a musical, after the opening number - an audition for her boyfriend's club - Deloris gets to sing traditional song number two - the "I want..." song entitled "Fabulous, Baby!" and we are set to follow her on the journey anywhere including a seedy downtown police station, a dreary convent, a garbage-can filled alley, a low-class bar. You name it we will willingly follow because Aneesa Folds, playing Deloris, is leading us there. It is rare to watch an actress visibly enjoying her own work, but without losing character that is exactly what Folds manages to do. Here is a woman whose powerful voice is easily matched by her character development in her scenes. She gives us the beauty of her character's unacknowledged soul topped with a generous dollop of the actress's own spirit. When Deloris is at her low points emotionally Folds lifts her up for us through a charismatic delivery. When she is ecstatic, and ecstasies do play a role in the developing studies in this play, she is almost overwhelming. There is a Mahalia Jackson style of control in this young woman's work, a sense that there is power in the voice to make men weak and women vibrant. If Aneesa Folds was announced to read scripture I would probably alter my schedule to hear her and if she was introduced as merely a singer than "merely" would be an outrageous extreme."
Reviewed by: J. Peter Bergman