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Can a local pull off an old-time gospel play?



Anyone who listens to black radio has heard advertisements for stage productions with names like Be Careful What You Ask for Cuz You Probably Don't Need It or Come to the House After Church and Get Some Fried Chicken and Cornbread. When it comes to long titles that tell you everything you want to know about a show without ever seeing it, nothing beats those wonderful traveling gospel plays. You know, the ones with all the old-school R&B singers who don't have a record deal and actors who no longer have a TV series.

The latest in the genre is Can a Woman Make a Man Lose His Mind, a story about a gospel singer named Brian Williams who decides to pursue a career in secular music (though you surprisingly can't tell from its title). The woman making him lose his mind is Brian's girlfriend, Satin, who persuades him to turn his back on the Lord to answer his newfound calling.

Written by and starring Atlanta actor/singer/songwriter/playwright Palmer Williams, Can a Woman Make a Man Lose His Mind is largely a local affair. The play also stars R&B singer and Atlanta resident Dave Hollister — who, for the record, does have a record deal — as well as former Blackstreet member Eric Williams, Carl Payne (formerly of "Martin" and "The Cosby Show"), Jackie Clark of the Clark Sisters gospel group and gospel singer Desmond Pringle.

Will Brian find fame and fortune and lose his mind, or will he be able to hear the voice of God over the loud music? Even if you think you know the answer, the fun of these things tends to be watching it all unfold.

Can a Woman Make a Man Lose His Mind plays the Atlanta Civic Center Nov. 8-11.??