Asante Children’s Theatre; directed by Deborah Asante; Madame Walker Theatre; June 21-24
The point is to get the point from a variety of perspectives. This journey of a boy becoming a man and a girl becoming a woman involves a village. The strength of this daring production created by Deborah Asante, Phillip T. Hughes, Terrance Asante Doyle and Jocque Carey is the clarity of its storyline conveyed through dialogue, music/song and dance. We experience peer pressures to conform to the “street” expectations and how family paradigms affect us. The son of an over-indulgent single mother is on the brink of abandoning his pregnant girlfriend just as his father abandoned his mother. The daughter of an over-protective father strays from the affirming path she always followed. The Remix is a slightly altered version of the sizzling premiere last summer in Butler’s Lilly Hall black box theater. What remains with a new cast is the honesty of what’s happening on stage with young performers whose heart, soul, energy and intelligence inform every role, from walk-ons to leads. Crisp direction by Asante and eye-popping choreography by Shawn Cowherd explodes from hip-hop to balladry to traditional West African forms. The one jarring note is that Bobby goes back to crotch-clutching attire in the final scene. One would hope “stay-up” trousers come with personal growth on stage and on the streets.