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Melvin Van Peebles Staging Musical-Theater Adaptation Of “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (Things That Make You Go Hmm…)

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This COULD be interesting, for better or for worse…

The film certainly has its place in the cinematic history, regardless of what is thought of it today. It served a purpose at the time, and arguably helped usher in the wave of 1970s so-called blaxploitation flicks that followed.

I haven’t seen the film in a really long while, but I think I’ll take another look at it, and see how I respond to it today.

Regardless, I’m curious at the very least about how he’s going to adapt this for the musical theatre. It may actually end up being more accessible and appreciated in this format than the film was.

This isn’t new territory for M.V.P., by the way… His stage musical Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, from 1971, brought “unsparingly gritty portraits of black urban life to Broadway;” and, in 2004 he revived it with the Classical Theater of Harlem. I wasn’t on this earth when the original stage production ran its course, so I obviously didn’t see it; however, I also missed the 2004 revival. It was my second year in New York City. Too bad…

According to the New York Times, still currently in rehearsal, next month his “Sweetback” musical-theatre adaptation opens at the Sons d’Hiver Festival in and around Paris, France, with other performances on Feb. 3 and 4 at BRICstudio in Brooklyn. You can guarantee that I’ll be there to check it out!

Stay tuned…

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