act: hip hop onstage


photo courtesy of ACT
Hip-hop artist/English teacher Marc Bamuthi Joseph comes to ACT for three-and-a-half weeks. The show—the break/s—has a sold-out preview on Wednesday and opens on Thursday. Michael Hacker will be there to cover it for SeattleDances.

How much dance will there be? It doesn’t look danceriferous, but it looks cool in a theater+dance+politics way and I’m sad to miss it. Here’s a long quote from the review of its premiere last year in Minneapolis:

“Going in, I thought that I would say that I have seen this before. But it is not true. Joseph organizes his show like a mix tape, sampling music and imagery, with themes flowing into one another. The structure, herky-jerky in places, surprises. Where it would naturally break or end, the performer, under the jazzy, riffy direction of John Michael Garces, continues to turn new corners, offering unexpected insights.

“What emerges from this polished show is how necessary it is to have mess, to have spaces in the culture where interesting things emerge: the spaces between boxes and categories; the eruptions of consciousness and insights. Joseph does it so well that you want to give him a shout-out.”

There’s a snoozer of a video about the commissioning of this show by the Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Walker Art Center…but it’s short, and you can get a sense of this international performer’s personality (which is not a snoozer).