Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hangin out!


This is a picture of the Chicago Theatre which I have yet to see the inside of. Had I known Eryka Badu was in town I would have made it my business to check her out. I was in town to check out Sex and the City and ran across the marquee advertising her concert on Saturday night, May 31. Her music has been described as "neo-soul genre." Others describe her as "black avant-garde vocal pop of the past." Her musical influences include George Clinton and Funkadelic, D'Angeloo's Voodoo and Marvin Gaye.

What music speaks to your soul? And when was the last time you lost yourself in some soul gratifying music?

Everybody that remotely knows me knows that I love the movies and some tv programs. I still watch the reruns of Sex and the City and so of course I went to see the movie. For those of you that wonder what the appeal is besides the obvious distraction and entertainment? It speaks to themes of sisterhood, love, lost and found love, identity and survival. Yes, it is more than a little superficial with the middle class indulgences of money, clothes, designer labels, serial relationships, casual sex and partying. But I settle for what I can get in a culture that does not bother to market to individuals like me that want to be entertained and distracted. I look past all the deficiencies and pull out some common denominators that I have alluded to: sisterhood, love, lost and found love, identity issues and surviving in an often hostile world, all while trying to eke out a living and create a life of meaning.

So, how are you doing with all that?

I am planning to visit the Goodman Theatre to see the Ballad of Emmett Till which opened April 2. In addition, the Court Theatre located at 5534 S. Ellis Ave. on the University of Chicago's campus is featuring a play, First Breeze of Summer directed by Ron OJ Parson, current resident artist at Court Theatre. According to Rachel Reed, "First Breeze of Summer penetrates deeply into the narrative of the Greene family, yet it also suggests race issues in a a broader context. . . abandoned by a string of men, each of whom left her with a child, Lucrecia Greene alternates between flashbacks of her as a young woman in the 1920s and the present-day of the 1970s. . . While specific context can be linked to a historical moment, the disparity in generational values and the capacity for religion to hold a family together transcends the epoch."

When have you lost yourself in a play so compelling that it captured your emotions and sent you twisting and turning into the life of the cast and drew you into the plot?

Chicago appears to have a rich cultural life that I look forward to indulding with great anticipation. Two other theatres worth noting for those that appreciate black theatre are: Steppenwolf and Congo Square. So stay tuned to future reviews.
Blessings! Rev. Dr. Qiyamah

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