Spunk

After a year when most of Penumbra Theatre's headlines were about offstage issues centered on budget shortfalls and show cancellations, the company is finally getting back to what it does best this week with a production of Spunk. For the play, author George C. Wolfe has adapted three of Zora Neale Hurston's stories for the stage, which are then merged with music by Chic Street Man. Along with Penumbra's return, the story here is the amazing cast assembled for the piece: T. Mychael Rambo, Dennis W. Spears, Jevetta Steele, and Austene Van are able to light up any stage on their own. In combination, the results may be combustible. Patdro Harris directs and choreographs the show, while Carlton Leake serves as the music director. Hurston collected African-American folklore and stories as part of her long career as an author and anthropologist. The three pieces selected for the play showcase black life at the turn of the 20th century, and feature a mix of stories, dance, and music. This is the second time the theater has brought the show to the stage, having presented a production two decades ago. Most of all, it means that Penumbra's singular vision and style will once again grace local stages. The production is in previews March 12-13.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Wednesdays, 10 a.m. Starts: March 14. Continues through April 14, 2013

 
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