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Word Becomes Flesh

A different twist on hip-hop culture at the MACC.

November 10, 2011
The Maui Weekly

On Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC), our community will be treated to a different twist on hip-hop culture: Marc Bamuthi Joseph's "Word Becomes Flesh," an evening-length choreo-poem written in the form of a narrative verse play, which examines fatherhood in the black community.

First performed in 2003 by Joseph, National Poetry Slam champion and Broadway veteran, "Word Becomes Flesh" has been re-invented with an ensemble cast from a new generation. Members of The Living Word Project (resident theater company of Youth Speaks in San Francisco) will perform a series of letters to an unborn son, using spoken word, dance and DJ music to document nine months of pregnancy from a young, single father's perspective.

Incorporating elements of archetypes and symbolic sites within the constructs of today's hip-hop culture and presenting the complex contradictions of race, the ensemble cast of "Word Becomes Flesh" uses the stage as an open page and deftly writes the body as text. The poem addresses this irony: While women continue to fight for their right to make choices about their bodies, patriarchy and male privilege in our society still allow a man the social right to choose absenteeism and refrain from offering either emotional or financial support for their children.

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Members of The Living Word Project will perform a series of letters to an unborn son, using spoken word, dance and DJ music to document nine months of pregnancy from a young, single father’s perspective.

Writer/Director Joseph is one of America's leading voices in performance, arts education and artistic curation. In fall 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of "Smithsonian Magazine" after being named one of America's Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. He's artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary, "Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices," and has performed traditional theater, notably on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning "The Tap Dance Kid" and "Stand-Up Tragedy."

The Living Word Project performers are Dahlak Brathwaite, Daveed Diggs, Dion Decibels, Kahlil Anthony, Michael Turner and B.Yung.

Tickets to see "Word Becomes Flesh" in Castle Theater are $12, $28 and $38 (plus applicable fees). The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Call the MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW (7469) or order online at MauiArts.org.

 
 

 

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