Normally when I go to New York for the theatre, I wait until I get back to write a piece that encompasses all of the shows I’ve seen.
But there is one that ends Nov. 1 that I wanted to get the good word out there before it’s too late.
Colman Domingo’s one man show “A Boy and His Soul,” is worth searching out and definitely seeing before it closes.
“Soul” is Domingo’s autobiography about his life and love of music and takes him from boyhood West Philly to manhood Manhattan. Along the way, we learn of his family and life as a gay black man. But more impressively, we learn of his love for music and quite often hear some music from Domingo’s past.
While a talent singer and musician himself, having played in the Tony winning musical “Passing Strange,” Domingo’s vocals are limited in this show as he lets the real records speak for themselves. A terrific tribute to 1970s music, Domingo reminds us of what a lot of great soul songs shaped his and our lives in this time period. You almost want to stand up and move your body to Earth Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” and Domingo uses Gladys Knight and the Pips “Neither One of Us” in a heartbreaking, tender way as a backdrop to one of the show’s stories.
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Domingo is amazingly flawless as he quickly changed characters between himself, his siblings and his mother and stepfather. As these different characters, he’d have complete conversations on stage and you can actually see the various personalities with every change of Domingo’s voice, stance and body language. There is a reference in the show that someone thought Domingo looks a bit like Eddie Murphy. Well, with Domingo’s successful transition from one character to another in a millisecond, one could see his work is reminiscent of Murphy’s The Klumps, but portrayed in a more bittersweet, earnest way.
As Domingo professes his love for music early in the show, he says that the glory is in the groove of the records. Well, Domingo’s puts his heart and soul in this show and proves that the glory is in his groove.
Catch it while you can at the Vineyard Theatre, currently running through Nov. 1 only. To get tickets, go the www.vineyardtheatre.org.
To learn more about Domingo, visit his website at www.colmandomingo.com