Saturday 12 November 2016

"Secrets of a Black Boy" at Theater Passe Muraille

Tonight Teena and I were at Theatre Passe Muraille for Secrets of a Black Boy.

Secrets of a Black Boy is a brutally honest dramedy that gives voice to five young black men from Toronto as they come together for one last domino game at their local community centre before its permanent closure – a devastating result of the neighbourhood’s revitalization project. With thousands of people already displaced, the ongoing dismantling of the community serves as a constant reminder that the only home many youth have ever known is literally being ripped apart with questionable explanation and rationale.

Through a series of compelling monologues and authentic narratives mixed with musical interludes, Secrets of a Black Boy critically explores the underlying effects of common stereotypes faced by racialized men and delves into several controversial issues including police brutality and injustice, mental health, domestic abuse, infidelity, interracial dating, and sexuality.

The play is excellent and superbly acted. There were moments of comedy mixed in with drama and some of the stories told were truly heartbreaking. The set was interesting. Boxes stacked in the background, some frozen in time falling over. It was clever how images were cast on the boxes in some many ways throughout the performance.

I know I mentioned the play was fabulously acted but special mention should go to Julien Hyacinthe's singing. What a great voice with lots of range. This is not a musical but there is music in it.

It's a powerful play worth seeing.

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