I went into Feast expecting intensity and color and maybe even a little bit of fear. Perhaps the fear part came from the posters I had seen in the underground and around town. A menacing picture (shown above) that seemed to pair, in my mind, the title “Feast” with the word “beast.” I came into it expecting monsters and scary stories. While I wasn’t exactly wrong, I most certainly was not right. Feast is a show about the journey that 3 African sisters have throughout history starting from tribal Africa, all the way up to 2013.
The story (a collaboration of 5 writers) was a little jumbled but had really great scenes including African American students protesting at a diner counter, an encounter with a cuban prostitute, and a scene where an african athlete is made fun of by her fellow black peers for having a white coach. There were great messages shown in these scenes but what really made Feast a “go-see” is the way the story is told.
Not only is there a live chicken involved in the storytelling, but the mastery of the dance, singing, and use of light projection is captivating. Not a minute goes by without one of the characters dancing around, and there was a live band barely visible behind a beaded curtain in the very back of the stage. There was a lot of singing involved as well, which worked really well with the story line since the songs were all based on or about the african heritage/culture.
But the thing that was the most spectacular was the use of light projection. There was a beaded curtain that moved back and forth on the stage and dancers would use it to create a really cool effect when they leaned in towards it. There was also projections being thrown on the curtain. Sometimes just shapes (like when a person disappeared into the beads, there would be a lit up image of their body remaining on that area of the curtain for a while), other times, words, names, images of scenery, etc. Another cool effect resembled that of a magician’s trick (which I have decided not to expose on this blog). Overall, Feast was a very enjoyable experience. While the storyline could have been clearer, the message was very clear and the way it was presented was extremely entertaining and inspiring.