If slam poetry seems a little 1995 to you, a forum for confessional bathos delivered in a breathless sing-song, Marc Bamuthi Joseph defies such preconceptions and demonstrates the vitality of spoken-word as a medium. To be completely accurate, the former National Poetry Slam champion has created his own mode of performance, blending poetry, dance, theater and music. “Word Becomes Flesh” documents Joseph’s feelings and reflections about the impending birth of his first child, but his perspective takes in a wide swath of themes, including his Haitian heritage and a brief philosophy of tap dancing. Joseph’s verbal flow is astonishing, all the more so given his aerobic and kinesthetic ability to deliver it while in a blur of motion. Critiquing Sigmund Freud and Condoleeza Rice in almost the same breath, Joseph makes himself an enormously appealing instrument for communicating an emotionally rich process of thinking. He draws on the particular hip-hop tradition of positive consciousness-raising to take apart myths about blackness, maleness, and fatherhood, ultimately delivering a thrilling and radical example of how body and mind, spirit and flesh, can come together to ignite change. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.