Stage Play Two Chairs brings a Taste of Broadway to Detroit
By Olivia Ewing | Entertainment Editor
Native Detroiter and music producer Marvin Thompson, Jr. has spent a lifetime writing and producing music, extending his talent further scripting stage plays. As musical director for more than just a few shows, his recent effort embraces an original piece Two Chairs. The fresh production makes a remarkable addition to his repertoire of creations – for which he not only penned the script, but also composed the music. Comparisons of his prior stage plays have been made to Broadway sensation Rent and other ensemble musical theater works. “Music for theater is much different than it is for performance…everything must be in sync, from emotion to color, mood and attitude. Yet, when it’s right, you can feel it from the audience to the stage and back again,” he declares.
In this original one-man play, Thompson looks at figures from our past through words and music. His inspiration for the production he conveys, “Came from wanting to tell a story about people that are common figures to most folks, but adding a little insight and depth along the way.”
Subway, played by the dynamic Jesse Boyd-Williams, is the essential storyteller who invites the audience to think, reflect, laugh and cry as he takes them on a journey. One of the characters our narrator channels attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit where he dealt with race-identity, even altering his past to fit into a space he felt was the norm for that time. As a nice complement to the story line, the music pulls from several elements including soul, gospel, R&B and pop, and features the lovely vocals of Jessica Rushton. “I wanted the music to somewhat reflect the era of the people being highlighted,” Thompson explains. There is also a video element added to some of the scenes, assured to give playgoers a chill.
Two Chairs also does something special and addresses sociocultural issues relevant today. Thompson elucidates why he felt it was so important to create this body of work, “It’s amazing that some of the same issues that we were dealing with 30, 40, 50, 75 years ago are still a problem today. Although the names of the players have changed, the same ghosts of injustice, intolerance, and division are still with us today. That being said, some of the good seeds that were planted all those years ago are now being harvested by those of us who choose to do the right things in making our society a better place,” says the playwright.
Be sure to treat yourself and check out Two Chairs Saturday, March 18th | Show times: 3pm & 7:30pm
Where: Light Box | 8641 Linwood St. | Detroit MI 48206
For tickets: TICKETLEAP
For more info: www.marvinthompsonjr.com/two-chairs
Music available soon on iTunes.
Images courtesy of Marvin Thompson, Jr.