‘da Kink in my Hair: admittedly, not MY hair

publicity photo: Arts Club Theatre's production of 'da Kink in my Hair

Playing Novelette, Alana Bridgewater anchors this production —
but the script doesn’t bother to give her a story.
(Photo: Moonrider Productions)

There are reviews I’ve been more eager to write. ‘Da Kink in my Hair is almost entirely about the experience of Black Canadian women. I’m a white guy — and I don’t think this musical is well constructed. So boo hoo me; or shut up me: I get the legitimacy of both responses. But I’ve been invited to review this show and I’m going to do it because I think the artistic discussion is worth having.

There is no overarching plot in ‘da Kink in my Hair, which is set in Novelette’s hair salon, which seems to be in Toronto. A series of women sit in Novelette’s chair, and she intuits their traumas and life crises by touching their hair. This triggers a monologue — in song and/or prose — from each of them and Novelette brings closure through forgiveness, inclusion, compassion, or solidarity.

Trey Anthony’s script brings up all sorts of issues: the murder of young Black men, the pressure on Black women to be perfect, colourism, sexual abuse … The list goes on. Obviously, every one of these issues is worth exploring. My argument is that they’re worth exploring in more depth. [Read more…]

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