This Week on One Detroit, Arts & Culture:
‘Da Kink in my Hair’ musical returns to Toronto for its 20th anniversary production
The critically-acclaimed ‘da Kink in my Hair’ musical by Trey Anthony has returned to Toronto for its 2oth anniversary production. The musical is produced by TO Live and the Soulpepper Theatre Company, directed by Soulpepper Theatre’s Weyni Mengesha, and features several of the original cast members from 20 years ago, including One Detroit Arts & Culture host Satori Shakoor. It originally appeared at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2001.
The musical is told from the perspective of the main character Novelette Campbell, the owner of a hair salon in Toronto’s Caribbean-Canadian community Eglinton West, whose magical hands allow her clients to dig deep and tell their unforgettable stories of love, hope, survival and redemption. One Detroit Arts & Culture guest host John Sloan III caught up with Shakoor during the production’s run at the Bluma Appel Theatre to talk about how performances are going and what it means to her to be involved in this 20th-anniversary production of the musical.
Motor City Youth Theatre presents ‘In Search of a Christmas Carol’ play based on Charles Dickens’ story
This holiday season the Motor City Youth Theatre presents a new, original story based on Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. “In Search of a Christmas Carol,” Motor City Youth Theatre Co-Founder and Artistic Director Nancy Florkowski’s take on the Dickens’ classic Christmas story, follows four modern-day kids who visit a museum and discover the original Charles Dickens manuscript of “A Christmas Carol” and magically enter the world within Dickens’ story.
One Detroit Arts & Culture producer Sarah Smith sat down with Florkowski and several actors involved with “In Search of a Christmas Carol” to talk about youth theater’s mission to produce theatrical performances while also giving youth a place to improve their speaking, reading, dance, music and life skills, as well as their self-expression and confidence. “In Search of a Christmas Carol” runs through Dec. 18 at the Motor City Youth Theatre in Livonia, Michigan.
Tapping into their roots: Detroit Sugarbush Project collects sap from Rouge Park
Late February and early March are known as sugarbush season, a time when the sap begins to run through maple trees, and for members of the Detroit Sugarbush Project, it’s the time they head out to Detroit’s Rouge Park to tap into the park’s maple trees and start collecting sap. The practice is a cultural tradition meant to connect Indigenous people to their heritage and ancestors as much as it is a spiritual process that reminds them of their connection to the Earth.
As they prepare for a new crop of maple syrup in the new year, One Detroit contributor AJ Walker joins the Detroit Sugarbush Project members — David Pitawanakwat, Dr. Shakara Tyler and Alexis Chingman-Tijerina — for a day in Rouge Park collecting sap to learn more about the process of making maple syrup and how the group has been trying to revive the cultural tradition. Plus, Antonio Cosme, of the National Wildlife Federation, explains how projects like this are helping to provide a sense of healing for communities of color.