Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unexpected Co-Star Joins Dell Performance

In Genesis 3:14, God says to the serpent, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman.” When God said “the woman,” the particular woman He had in mind may have been Kesha Afrika Oliver, one of the leading lights of African American Repertory Theatre (formerly the Living Word Stage Company). Kesha HATES snakes!!

Can I hear an "Amen" somebody?

More’s the pity, then, when during one of last weekend’s outdoor performances of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the late great August Wilson play presented by AART at Dogwood Dell, Mr. No Shoulders himself decided to make a surprise appearance with Kesha onstage in front of a live audience.

Kesha was just beginning the “shout” section of the play, when she bowed her head to become one with the Holy Spirit, and found herself foot-to-fang with a wholly disgusting serpent instead.

“People must have thought I was really in touch with the Almighty,” Kesha said. “I shouted ‘Jesus!’ and jumped up, clapping my hands and tears flowing down my face.”

Other cast members said afterwards that they saw Kesha step on the snake, and then saw the snake slither out from under her skirt. After enjoying his few minutes of stardom, the serpent calmly returned to the wild, but not before inspiring one of Kesha’s more powerful and moving performances.

“I was saying prayers on stage that night, and really meaning 'em,” Kesha said. “That wasn’t acting. That was real. And the good Lord saw me through.”

For the latest on the newly-named African American Repertory Theatre, check out their website at http://www.livingwordstage.com/ .
--Bruce Miller

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