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Play tackles one pastor's temptations

caines | 9/27/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Pain Behind the Collar brings suspense to the stage

Typically a story about a man of God falling short of glory would be a little farfetched and ill-received, but with the rising number of men of the cloth getting caught in compromising positions, fiction is becoming more like fact. We all fall short of the glory of God sometimes; everyone sins, said Emmanuel Rowe, writer of the new hit play, Pain Behind the Collar. The play premiered last weekend at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center for two shows only. Rowes play centers around the Rev. Devin Jackson, whose first on first glance bares little resemblance to a man of the cloth. Again and again we see him succumbing to the women around him and the temptations of the flesh. However, the overlaying theme is a social commentary on our obsession with gaining notoriety as opposed to performing their job and doing it well. Jackson represents the common man in society one who becomes a celebrity overnight and is caught up in the trappings. He cares more about his appeal to the public than his mission.

Phenomenal acting

Wonderfully cast, each of the actors brought great life to their characters, appearing to improvise as the play proceeds. Standout performances included: the pastors wife played by the lovely Inger Hanna; and the hilariously unfiltered waitress Candace played by Andreve Dacosta. Even more entertaining were the spoken transitions delivered by real life poet Mr. Whispers whose performance harkened back to the roles of the chorus in Greek tragedies. Meanwhile, everyone else in the cast seemed perfectly suited for their roles. And while the humor and one-liners were well received, the best parts of the play were the highly-climatic plot twists that had the auditorium gasping. Rowe and the Identity Film Group delivered a jaw-dropping, seat-clinching show thatll be worth seeing more than once. The producers of the play plan to begin filming soon for a cinematic version of the show. Rowe says he's excited about making the transition from the stage to the silver screen, noting that the stage is limiting. In fact the entire story will get a facelift and feature more exterior scenes as well as more action in the church to give the role of Rev. Jackson even more depth. By Joseph Adamsjoecadamsii@gmail.com Miami Times writer