December 1, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Written and performed by d’bi.young anitafrika
Musical direction by Waleed Abdulhamid
Oct. 22 to Dec. 4, 2011
d’bi.young anitafrika is a talented dub poet and playwright. Dub poetry is a form of West Indian mélodrame, recited over music that is specifically written to underscore the words. The theme is usually very political.
Accompanied by her 3-member live band, d’bi has fashioned The Sankofa Trilogy about three strong Jamaican women from one family. The third part called words! sound! Powah! is about the granddaughter benu, and various people in her life, revolving around Jamaican elections in 2012.
Like a lot of solo shows, words! sound! powah! needs a good editor, but there is much to recommend the production.
For starters, d’bi is a charismatic actor who invests her performance with intense vocal passion and stunning physicality, slipping easily between various characters without missing a beat, whether the 20-year-old activist benu, the bully policeman, or a glib politician.
Waleed Abdulhamid’s music is all about subtle cinematic effects.
The Sankofa Trilogy continues in repertoire at Tarragon Theatre until Dec 4.