I have experienced three phenomenal one-person shows in my life. Two were on the stage of the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater. One was tonight at the Black Rep.
It is the powerful performance by Kevin Roston, Jr. that shatters this oblivion. Roston draws upon his experiences with a mother with mental illness and along with his extensive research of Hathaway’s struggle, rolls it into a dramatic presentation that illuminates the life challenges of those diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Roston’s goal is to soften the “dis-ease” of the public about the issue of mental health. He does so with humor, showcasing his own musical gifts (including possessing an uncanny likeness to Hathaway’s voice). And oh the songs, the wonderful songs.
This theatrical gem is sure to achieve its purpose–to open our hearts and minds to the abyss of the complicated human mind. To crush the stigma still associated with diseases of the mind. To see the humanity of those who “hang on to the world as it spins around.”
“Twisted Melodies” runs from April 22-May 1. It is a must-see that I think will change the way you look at Donny Hathaway again and human beings like him.