Passion & Honey
Artistic director Calvin Manson opens the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players' 31st season with a "choreo-poem" based on his poetry, about the lives of five African-Americans from the late-50's to today. The evening unfolds in three scenes: youth ("Toy in My Room"), emerging sexuality and adulthood ("Water of Your Bath," "The Blues Drew Blood"), and the political (including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King). In each successive scene, the questions expand and the tone deepens. The evening's highlight: Kalif Price performs "I have a dream too, Dr. King"; it's a vision that erases the past with Dr. King's non-violent approach. The performances on opening night ranged from stirring to amateurish. The cast often played to the floor, and some recited, rather than felt, the word. A "choreo-poem" combines the spoken word with movement, music, and dance. But Calvin Manson's words should be foremost. He is a deeply felt, verbally rich poet. Worth a try.
Ongoing until Sunday, March 29, 2015