“The Hate U Give” out for consumption on October 19, 2018.
Read the book first.
When productions focus on current events, social-political-what have you, I am really excited and engaged. I am most excited and engaged because the world is changing. This focus on the current and changing environment is reaching all aspects of society, including theater.
Boys in the Band
An Act with God
These are just a few of the shows, in my current recollection, that are addressing the importance of an ever changing environment.
Maybe better described as raising up different voices.
Maybe better described as self identification.
Maybe better described as understanding another community.
Maybe better described as religious missinterpretation.
All hot button topics that people find difficult to discuss or even converse on in a civil manner these days. It boggles my mind, but I’m going to do my best to describe my thoughts on this in the post.
Hamilton is one of the greatest musicals written. I am going to be honest and admit that I do not personally enjoy the music. I like listening to ballads and I like hearing the notes of an obo in the background. In Hamilton I found myself getting lost in the motion of the words. I was very overwhelmed listening to the sound track. I can also say that from this experience that it doesn’t entice me to see it in person.
However, it is coming on tour to Philadelphia and I’ve put it on my list of things to see. Why, when I didn’t enjoy it? I acknowledge the beauty of the language of Miranda. Reading his lyrics was struck me, deep down. The facts, the rhythm of rhyme–and, as a history nerd, it’s accurate and it’s beautifully written. Regardless of your race.
Kinky Boots is one of the greatest musicals written. (I never claimed to be an expert, these are all my own opinion and I’m allowed to repeat myself). It makes you get up and dance. It makes you sit down and listen. You hear this tortured, petulant child whine and complain about his hard life. Then you hear this tortured, pained child and tell you how hard life can really be for an individual. It rounds out with a lesson on how to overcome the hardship (or what you presume to be a hardship) with a new perspective. Regardless of your gender identity.
Boys in the Band is one of the greatest plays written. I am so appreciative of vanguard shows, and this show is if nothing more a true vanguard. It paved the way for shows such as the others on this list. An inside look at the lives of individuals who had been closeted–personally, professionally, publicly–from showcasing their true life and the stresses from hiding. I think this one speaks to me most because of how many individuals felt more able and capable of being their true selves after this production met mainstream acclaim.
The fact we still see iterations of this show, a rendition is currently running on Broadway presently, reinforces that we as a community need to be reminded of this being free to be yourself. Regardless of your sexual identity.
Did I save the best for last? Maybe–it is one of my favorites.
An Act with God is an experience and one of the greatest plays written. I only saw one actors interpretation of it so some of what I say to describe this show is biased–I can’t help it. I love Jim Parsons. I think he is so funny and he is animated when he speaks, he’s one of those natural performers that can really speak to you not only verbally but also emotionally and physically (do not read any sexual overtones). With Parsons as God, a sentence I didn’t know I would ever write in my life, you will question and internalize why things are the way they are.
You sort of look back and wonder how decisions were made and accepted by your forefathers and their relations. Why did we let things get the way they are for so long? How could we have been so complacent and irreverent? Like persons races, gender and sexual identity.. These shows make you think.
I hope you take an opportunity to see them, regardless of who you are. ‘Til next time.