Word Becomes Flesh | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Word Becomes Flesh

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Though the Museum of Contemporary Art had to cancel the Hip-Hop Theater Festival last fall, programmers say they're still interested in showcasing new work in that evolving genre. In Word Becomes Flesh, a kinetic exploration of fatherhood, Oakland-based spoken-word artist and dancer Marc Bamuthi Joseph interweaves his experience as a prospective dad with mini history lessons about the role of dance in African-American culture--or, as he puts it, the way African-American dancers "improvised truths around false structures." The child of a Haitian immigrant who "desired American wealth but shunned American culture," including his son's interest in tap dancing, Bamuthi is a past National Poetry Slam champion and an alum of Broadway and HBO's Def Poetry Jam. On video, he's a demon with wordplay and a perpetual-motion machine who jumps from the feel-good fuzzy-wuzzy world of Bay Area alternative birthing classes to the dance clubs of his native New York, all the while maintaining a rat-a-tat discourse on the sexual and racial politics of black parenting. 2/2-2/4: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010, $22.

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