We are heading to the Pynk for this edition of CASSIUS Gems.
Pussy Valley or P-Valley, for short, the brainchild of award-winning playwright, Katori Hall, has arrived. The Starz show is based on her play of the same name and is 10-years in the making. Starting tonight (Jul.12), we will head to down to the Mississippi Delta and follow the bold, sexy, and emotional stories of the dancers who work the poles of the local strip joint The Pynk also affectionately know as Uncle Cliffords. The establishment is named after its outspoken owner, who proudly lives in her truth and, as described by Nicco Annan, is the HBIC (head bitch in charge).
P-Valley isn’t a show just about ass shaking. While that is a part of it, it’s much more, telling the story The Pynk’s stars, its dancers, but from their perspective. In doing so, Hall wants to remove the stigma that is often associated with strippers, humanizing them and showing that dancing is a job, and outside of that, they have normal lives, deal with a bevy of issues just like everyone else.
The show follows three dancers. Mercedes (Brandee Evans), who is the OG star of The Pynk and Uncle Cliffords’ main moneymaker, immediately stands out with her strong presence and intoxicating provocativeness. Mercedes is a boss, gets busy on that pole, and about her paper…period. When she clocks out, she has to deal with her perplexing relationship with her mother, who is opposed to how she makes a living but, at the same, not turning down Mercedes offerings.
Up next is Keyshawn (Shannon Thornton). When she hits that stage, she turns into Miss Mississippi, a seductive mistress when she twirls on the pole, but that is only hiding her obvious wounds. Outside of The Pynk, her story is painfully all too familiar, a Black woman doing what she has to do while trying to survive in an abusive relationship.
Last but certainly not least, we meet the mysterious Autumn Night (Elarica Johnson). She is using The Pynk to start a new life from the old one she is running away from. Her arrival to Uncle Clifford’s is well received by Mercedes, but the two will have to find a way to coexist in the club.
We had the opportunity to view the first episode of the show, and let’s just say its easily going to make Sunday night’s even better going forward. P-Valley premieres on Starz Sunday, July 12, 8PM, and hits its official 9PM timeslot after its premiere. For more photos of the show’s beautiful cast, hit the gallery below.
Photo: Starz /P-Valley