Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk
Something has been shaking up Thirteenth Street this past week. The cause of all the excitement is Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk, the latest production in Warner Theater's series, Broadway At The Warner. The Tony winning show features acclaimed tapper Savion Glover and an ensemble of incredibly skilled artists.
Glover performs double duty as both performer and choreographer. The latter garnered him a Tony Award in 1996. It's easy to see why Glover was chosen to receive that honor - the choreography in Noise/Funk is astounding.
The show was the brainchild of Glover and veteran director, George C. Wolfe. Wolfe also received a Tony award for his direction of the piece. Noise/Funk tells the story of the beat. From the time of slavery, all the way to present day, the tale is told through dance as well as eloquent poetry by Reg E. Gaines and energetic music by Daryl Waters, Zane Mark and Ann Duquesnay. Adding to this successful mix is the outstanding "bucket drumming" by Jared "Choclatt" Crawford and Raymond A. King.
Part of what makes this show work so well is the sound structure of Reg E. Gaines' book. Adding to that is a vibrant score and a versatile cast. As 'da Singer, original Broadway cast member Lynette Dupree performs with ferocity. Joining her on stage is Thomas Silcott as 'da Voice. Silcott's stage persona is both irreverent and compelling. The youngest cast member, Cartier A. Williams "Big Coop," dances the role of 'da Kid. At only thirteen years old, William is an impressive dancer and it is obvious he has a bright future ahead of him. Performers Maurice Chestnut, Marshall L. Davis, Jr., and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards each dance with a zeal that is infectious. They literally make music with their feet. However, the heart of the show is Savion Glover as 'da Beat. Glover moves with calculated abandonment and he is amazing to watch.
Experienced lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer have provided a design that is as dynamic as the performers it highlights. Additionally, Riccardo Hernandez's set design is minimal but powerful.
In fact, powerful is a word that can describe the production as a whole. The piece is performed with such force that the tremors are probably felt all the way down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk runs through November 17th.
The Warner Theater
'da Beat: Savion Glover