There are two things I take completely for granted, but are completely necessary for me when I write: time and quiet. The five performers on stage at freestyle love supreme are afforded neither of these luxuries, but wow can these word geniuses pump out the language. And not just garden variety language but poetic, searing, multisyllabic, rhyming, heartfelt, hilarious, thoughtful, and playful language. This is free form freestyle at its absolute and supreme finest.
Given the open mic nature of this performance on any given night the team/troupe performance can go in a thousand directions. But it is clear that the driving compass of the words they choose to deliver are kindness, love, and support (of one another and their audience). It is their true north (with a lot of f bomb’s thrown in to keep it real).
The undercurrent of positivity and warmth is a challenging stance to hold true to these days. Yet the performers do a magnificent and remarkable job absorbing details, words, stories and missives that are provided by the audience; synthesizing said words with their generous allocation of brain cells and then spiderwebbing them back to the audience as positive prose in the form of a rap – that I could no sooner replicate with all of the time and quiet in the world. Genius. Necessary. So very entertaining and therapizing. Grab Your Group and GO! Immediately. A few times!
Me and my group of 50 plus? Any one of us would go back in an instant. So good! GO! Clear?
Side story: My teenagers learned from their friend Jane B. about the fun to be had when you “stage door” it; ie lurk with the throngs after the show to perhaps afford yourselves the opportunity for a quick hello, a signature, and maybe even a selfie with the cast. The husband and I will head to our dinner after shows and our kids will join us later gleeful from the experience with a signed playbill clutched in their hands.
After freestyle love supreme they headed straight to their post at the stage door. My husband and I chatted with our friends and once the last of our friends headed home we joined the kids for their wait. Can we talk about the phrase: worth the wait? Their wait. Our wait. It was totally worth the wait (and I don’t love waiting).
Each and every performer who had JUST used up so many words up and untold amounts of energy on that stage went and spoke for extended periods of time to each and every person in the stage door wait line. (mind you it was a pretty long wait so we’re talking about 12 people). 🙂 Still! How gracious. How ideal for our children to see and interact with these wildly talented people who’s graciousness matches their god-given gifts.
It is clear that the ideals they are portraying on stage extend to each and every performer’s very persona including the grand maestro himself Lin-Manuel Miranda. His approach to us as humans was every parent’s dream of their offspring’s first encounter/first impression that we work so hard to encourage. Square shoulders face to face with the individual you are meeting. Above and beyond sincere eye contact. Not rushed. Open. Encouraging of conversation. Warm. Prepared to listen. Prepared to interact. He checked every box of how a human should act when meeting a fellow human.
I had to summon every ounce of self-control I had to a. react in kind and b. not tackle him with a prolonged hug. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a gift of a human and it was a gift for us to see him in action, cause that shit is real. I thanked him for his cultural contributions and name-dropped that we were family friends with the Kitts. This went over really well (thanks Tom and Rita) and the nice woman next to us in line snapped the pic that is at the top of this post. I am seriously tempted to use this photo as our holiday card for the next few years. 🙂 Thanks to my human teenagers for this gift of the stage door experience. Wow. A gift. Grateful.