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October 17th, 2009

A Boy and His Soul

How time flies when you're, well, doing a lot of stuff.  We saw A Boy and His Soul on Tuesday night, and I was going to blog it on Wednesday, but I had a date with nojojojo and Alaya Dawn Johnson to talk about Freedom Maze, my next novel (if I can ever get it right), and that date oozed into dinner and then it was Thursday and appointments associated with having all our windows replaced in November and emails that needed answering and so on, and gee, willikers, will you looky that.  Friday, and a wonderful one-man show unblogged.

Well, better late than never, I always say.

The short version?  If you were alive in the 70's or love/like/know anything about Motown or are gay or black or have a family or felt like a misfit or like watching a brilliant physical actor strut his stuff, you'll find something to like about this show.  I first saw Colman Domingo in Passing Strange (which, if you remember, we liked so much, we went twice), and found him utterly compelling to watch as he embodied a gay Baptist choirmaster, a Dutch stoner, a German performance artist, and a few other characters I can't immediately call to mind.  He was just as good, and more touching, as his smart-ass sister, his total-guy brother, his loving and anxious mother, and his salt-of the earth stepfather, plus a sprinkling of other relatives, teachers, and figures from his past. 

And then there was the music.  I didn't recognize the name of a single song he mentioned, let alone the artist and the label, but I knew all the tunes and many of the words, and found myself moved to tears several times by the conjunction of music, story, and Domingo's focused and electric presence.  Yes, there were quibbles about how he might have told the story better, or repeated himself less (as common a feature of one-person shows as freckles on genuine redheads), but hell, the guy really means every word he says, dances like a demon and sings like an angel.  Who can ask for anything more?

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