Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center brings its 13th Annual Teen Summer Musical, "Bobos," home after 12 years offsite. The Summer Musical program is one of the oldest summer youth theatre programs in the city and thousands of parents, families and community supporters anticipate this annual event.
Written by award winning playwright Ed Shockley, this urban opera examines tough choices facing youth in the streets of Seattle.
Legendary composer/arranger Quincy Jones described it as "the future of musical theatre."
Music is by Grammy Award winning composer and bestselling novelist James McBride (Miracle at St. Anna). In the early 1990s, the premiere production set a box office record at American Music Theatre Festival, then went on to win several major awards, including the Richard Rodgers Award (the American Academy of Arts and Letters), and the Stephen Sondheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Musical Theatre.
The story line — 15-year-old JK Lewis (Kent) plays Alfred, whose parents give him Bobos (Cheap, bargain basement knockoffs) for his 13th birthday. No one understands his dilemma, and so it's out into the streets where he is promptly tortured by the entire neighborhood, including the Autobots, a local gang led by Brick, played by Jayson Lowe.
Gerald, an undercover cop posing as a homeless man, played by Otieno Terry, tries to help and things turn ugly. Alfred is tempted to take the wrong path. Other characters engaged in this dilemma are Phyllis, the mother of the community, played by Michaelyn Thomas and Chelsea Muskelly. Heleina Gartrell and Kianna Lewis play Doris, the dorky friend of Alfred's family.
"Bobos" is directed by Isiah Anderson, Jr. "Bobos" is an all-ages show, running Aug. 17, 18, 19 (1 p.m.) Aug. 20, 21, 22 (1 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and Aug. 23 (3 p.m.). Ticket prices range from $4 to $12. Tickets are available through www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 206-386-1177.