An expansive tribute, the Asante Children's Theatre's LEGEND features songs by Michael Jackson and his contemporaries to trace the evolution of R&B, pop and soul. Deborah Asante's conception and direction pays homage to Jackson's versatility, continued growth as a song writer and performer, and his evolving sense of social justice and family relationships.
Particularly notable are the poetic tributes written and performed by Sonny Bates, Camea Osborn and Allyson Horton, each bringing dimensionality to Jackson as a person who endured physical and emotional pain along with wealth and acclaim.
The two-act production featured the dedication of over fifty performers, musicians and technical crew members. Vincent Howard earns merit for outstanding musical direction. Singing and instrumental playing were exceptionally suited to re-imagining the provided performing groups and the videos by Jackson.
LeToryia Gowdy provided exceptional choreography, performed with every intended nuance by well-trained and talented dancers who seem to intuitively grasp Jackson's complicated dance moves. Costumer Makeda Lands and light designer Matt Wilson brought to life scenes from Jackson's trailblazing music videos "Thriller", "Black or White" and "Bad".
Asante's genius has been and continues to be inspirational. For the past 22 years, she's maintained a training/performing company that helps children and teens learning discipline and theatrical techniques. And as LEGEND proves, the end result is often a show worthy of critical acclaim.
LEGEND June 14-17 at the Madame Walker Theatre Centre. All seats are $8.00 on June 14.