Noise and funk add new facet to musicals

It defies the stereotypical idea of a musical. It boasts no sweet ballads, crazy love affairs or, for that matter, dialogue. But the energy and flair of “Bring In `Da Noise, Bring In `Da Funk” redefines the musical.

Stomping, jumping, tapping, drumming and pounding, “Bring In `Da Noise” is an amazing presentation of endless motion and sound. Using pots, pans, chains, plastic buckets and other random objects, the drummers supply the beat to which the dancers move with undaunted passion.

The story tracks the importance of beat and rhythm in African American history. From slavery to the emergence of rap in pop culture, “Bring In `Da Noise” provides a brief history lesson through movement and sound.

One of the most startling images occurs when dancer Dominique Kelley contorts his body to resemble a man being lynched. The maneuvers etch chillingly in the mind.

Narrators Vickilyn Reynolds and Thomas Silcott tell the story. Reynolds has a soulful, bellowing voice that nicely offsets the pounding rhythm. However, the music and the beat often dominate the words and plot.

While the musical attempts a plot, the dancing and music overshadow any message to be gleaned from the performance. With an amazing choreography and score, the absence of a strong plot does not greatly detract from the performance.

But a void remains at the end of the performance when the awe subsides and the audience searches for a definitive story.

Each scene erupts into a visual and audio extravaganza. As more than one dancer usually is present on the stage, and each performs a different sequence, the audience does not know where to focus its eyes.

Credit must be given to the talented cast of “Bring In `Da Noise.” Riveting energy exudes from every member of the cast and thoroughly captivates the audience.

An undeniable chemistry exists among cast members that allows them to interact as friends. The exchange of smiles and looks draws the audience further into the show.

While the singers, dancers and drummers wonderfully complement each other, Derick K. Grant proves the most memorable performer. In one scene, Grant tap dances facing a three-fold mirror. As the narrator describes the evolution of tap, Grant performs intricate steps.

With an abundance of amazing scenes, “Bring In `Da Noise” creates a bewildering spectacle of motion and sound. The talented cast deserves commendation, and creators George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover should garner respect and accolades for their ingenious idea.

Beginning as a workshop at the Public Theater in New York, “Bring In `Da Noise” hit Broadway less than a year later. The evolution of a thought into complex dance steps demonstrates the talent of the duo. Director, Wolfe, and choreographer, Glover, have reunited to take their four-time Tony Award winning show on its first national tour.

“Bring In `Da Noise” opens with a burst of energy. With flashing lights and bright costumes, the first scene prepares the audience for the rest of the show. The unabashed energy and fervor of the talented cast consistently appears in the torrent of movement and sound, producing an unbelievable show.

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