The Word Begins REVIEW - In the beginning

The Word Begins

Written and performed by Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews

Developed and directed by Robert Egan

Presented by Rogue Machine in partnership with Hip-Hop Theater Festival and Prana Theatre Group

 

It starts off loud and then it gets louder. And softer. It makes you think. It makes you laugh. How’s that for an evening out?

 

The Word Begins, now in its West Coast Premiere at Rogue Machine on Pico, is one of the cleverest pieces of writing and performance you will have the pleasure of seeing in a long time. Even using the word “performance” is understatement—Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews are the content and they live it, breathe it, sweat it and speak it from wall to wall. No let up. No breaks. No apologies. As an audience member, you will be swallowed up in the energy.

 

The Word Begins is sort of a satirical spoken word, mash up, hip hop commentary and examination of the times we live in. But don’t let those contemporary descriptions sway you too much. While highly energetic, The Word Begins is also classic critical thinking and timeless in the way that the arts are supposed to serve intelligent discourse. To that end, it is the sort of piece that questions your beliefs, makes you take a second look at history, challenges you to create a better future. No surprise, then, that it was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards—Best Acting, Best Original Production and Best Writing.

 

On a colorful and urban set (designed by Sara Ryung Clement, Omar Ramirez, Adam Fleming, Francisco Garcia, Robert Cortes, and Fabian Debora), Andrews and Connell take up the stage, grab your attention, and don’t let go. One small but important note—when many productions are now using projected graphics that are lame executions of a PowerPoint presentation, The Word Begins employs wall and projected graphics by—Corwin Evans—that actually mean something and add another layer to the experience. This dedication to excellence is everywhere in the production.

 

The Word Begins and it will stay with you. It’s a romp. It’s a blast. It’s a spectacle. And this—it was over far too soon.

 

Make your ticket reservations by calling (855) 585-5185 or online here.

 

Where:

Rogue Machine

5041 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

 

2 blocks west of La Brea.  Easy street parking.

 

When:

Now through July 24

 

Times:

Thursdays - Sundays at 8:00 p.m.

***Special July 2nd Independence Weekend Event at 11:00 p.m.***

 

Running time is about 80 minutes with no intermission

 

Tickets:

$20-$35

 

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