Hip-Hop at the Kennedy Center
On the heels of “World Stages: International Theater Festival 2014,” an eclectic festival of new theater, new styles and new ideas that took up most of March, the Kennedy Center – in collaboration with Hi-ARTS, producers of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival – launched “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide” on March 25. It runs through April 13.
Going beyond the music, “One Mic” essentially explores hip-hop as a uniquely American art form and culture that has spread from its multi-ethnic roots in the U.S. to become a worldwide phenomenon. The festival highlights MCing, DJing, b-boying and graffiti writing, hip-hop’s four cornerstones.
Entering territory not often explored at the Kennedy Center, on March 28-29, actor, rapper, and multi-platinum recording artist Nas joins up with the NSO Pops to reimagine his debut album “Illmatic.”
On April 4-5, March Bahmuthi Joseph’s “red, black and GREEN: a blues (rbGb),” produced by MAPP International Productions, interweaves several art forms to bring “the stories and voices of Black America into the center of a timely conversation about race, class, culture and the environment.” The Revive Big Band, led by trumpeter Igmar Thomas, shares its hybrid sound of hip-hop, R&B and jazz with fans of the three genres at a performance at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club on April 4.
Dance gets its turn April 6, when Jonzi D, hip-hop artist, educator and director of “Breakin’ Convention” in England, leads a showcase of hip-hop dance at the Eisenhower Theatre. Project Soul Collective from South Korea, Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang from France and Companhia Urbana de Dance from Brazil will perform.
Catch up with the latest hip-hip styles – krumping, beatboxing and the role of b-girls – when “Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices” is staged for young audiences, directed by Monica Williams, in the Family Theatre, April 12-13. There’ll also be lots of free performances on the Millennium Stage.
For all the information on performances and tickets, visit the Kennedy Center website: kennedy-center.org/onemic. Something New at Studio Theatre’s 2nd Stage
Playwright Declan Greene’s provocative new play about anime-obsessed high school students, “Moth,” gets a production at Studio Theatre’s 2nd Stage, with D.C. actor and longtime Studio collaborator Tom Storey directing. 2nd Stage Artistic Director Keith Alan Baker calls “Moth” a “character-based play, focused on these two young people recreating a terrible shared moment.” The show runs April 9 to May 4.
The Two Henrys, Falstaff and Prince Hal
Familiar faces and folks are back at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, where Artistic Director Michael Kahn joins veteran actor Stacy Keach as Falstaff in productions of “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2.” The two plays, which will run in repertory through June 8, are about power and parenting, fathers and sons, war and peace and the education of a prince. High-water marks for Shakespeare, they are at turns gripping and funny, as well as tragic. Keach, who was seen last here in the title role of “King Lear” (he’s also done “Richard III” and “Macbeth” at STC), is the boisterous, cynical, hard-drinking knight who acts as one kind of father figure for Prince Hal (Matthew Amendt), heir to the throne occupied by his distant father Henry IV (Edward Gero).