Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW DJEMBE! The Show
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2019-04-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Book: West Hyler & Doug Manuel; Score: Various artists

At: Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6100 or DjembeTheShow.com; $39-$53. Booking through: June 9

DJEMBE! The Show isn't a typical musical. Instead, it's likely to be the glossiest and most entertaining "Intro to Drumming" class you'll ever experience.

Now if the interactive notion of all audience members at the Apollo Theater Chicago having a full-size African Djembe drum at their seat scares you, don't worry. Sound designer Ray Nardelli ensures that the amplified onstage professionals lead the drumming and control the beat at all times.

So if you or your neighbor has terrible rhythm, it won't be a major distraction to others.

It also helps to have such welcoming drumming teachers offering up lots of encouragement.

The principal "djembe fola," or master drummer, is native Malian Fode Lavia Camra. He also cedes time to another thrilling drummer, Abou Sylla, who also plays the balafon in the background as part of a jamming five-member band led by music director/keyboardist/vocalist Patrick Donley.

DJEMBE! also features a wealth of theater professionals in the mix on stage and behind the scenes, too.

As the "Singer," native Chicagoan ( and former touring actress in The Lion King ) Rashada Dawan shows off a beautiful voice in a number of musical styles from African songs ( with projected English translations ) to Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm is Gonna Get You."

And then there's Broadway Once alum Ben Hope as the "Emcee," who genially narrates some of the show while also admirably keeping a pace with the star drummers.

All the performers play a part in teaching the difference between bass and tone hits on the drum surface. They're also adept at leading portions of the audience in participatory drumming and restful listening.

There's also some history thrown in to share how African rhythms spread around the world. Of course slavery is brought up, but it's not dwelt on as more emphasis is put on how African drumming and rhythms transformed and influenced all kinds of pop, rock and world music.

Some might find this too glib and basic, but it does serve as a great starting point for those who would want to do more research.

DJEMBE! also shines throughout thanks to its high-tech production design.

Tony-winning set designer Todd Rosenthal provides a colorful backdrop for Rasean Davonte Johnson's abstracted video projections ( these images don't fully distract from the performers, which is a plus ). And Zach Blane's lighting design is a swirl of movement and color.

So if you've ever had the hankering to try out some drumming, DJEMBE! The Show is something you should consider. It strives to be a welcoming experience for everyone.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22 - Playwright: Jocelyn Bioh At: Goodman Theatre online at GoodmanTheatre.org/StreamSchoolGirls. Tickets: $20. Runs through: May 31 Ranking in popularity on the list of ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21 - Playwright: Philip Dawkins At: Sideshow Theatre online. Tickets: SideshowTheatre.org; $5+ ( pay what you can ). Runs through: Open run Playwright Philip ...


Gay News

Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21 - In response to the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced that the upcoming engagement of Disney's Frozen—originally scheduled to run ...


Gay News

'SapphFest' to take place virtually May 28-29 2020-05-21 - On May 28-29 at 7:30 p.m., Violet Surprise Theatre will present SapphFest—a digital variety show celebrating queer women and non-binary artists from all ...


Gay News

First Folio to stream 'Cymbeline' in June 2020-05-19 - As a way to help address the absence of live theater performances, First Folio Theatre will offer a streaming video recording of the ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag updates season with 'Girls,' 'Tiger Queen' 2020-05-19 - Hell in a Handbag Productions announced several updates to its 2020 season, including a streaming production slated for this summer and a world-premiere ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens announces IGNITION Festival of New Plays 2020-05-18 - Victory Gardens Theater outgoing Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Artistic Erica Daniels announced the lineup for the 2020 IGNITION Festival of New ...


Gay News

Broadway in Chicago updates show schedule 2020-05-15 - ( Chicago — Friday, May 15 ) The safety and health of our patrons, staff and theatrical companies is our top priority. In ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.