Berkeley Repertory Theatre's world premiere of Goddess completes its extended run October 2. The new musical opened August 24 at the California theatre, following previews which began August 13.
The cast stars Abena, Melessie Clark, Rodrick Covington, Zachary Downer, Amber Iman, Grasan Kingsberry, Kingsley Leggs, Kecia Lewis, Isio-Maya Nuwere, Aaron Patterson, Destinee Rea, Phillip Johnson Richardson, Awa Sal Secka, Lawrence Stallings, Teshomech, Quiantae Thomas, Wade Watson, and Reggie D. White.
Inspired by the myth of Marimba—the Goddess who creates music from heartbreak—the musical follows a mysterious singer as she arrives at Afro-jazz club Moto Moto in Mombasa, Kenya and the freshly returned young man she crosses paths. Their meeting creates a crossroads that leaves his plans of living up to a legacy and marrying his fiancée in the balance.
Saheem Ali (Merry Wives, Fat Ham) conceived and directs Goddess, which features music and lyrics by Michael Thurber (Merry Wives), and a book by Jocelyn Bioh (Merry Wives, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play). Mkhululi Z. Mabija provides additional material.
The creative team features choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, music director Marco Paguia, scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Nevin Steinberg, projections and video designer Brittany Bland, and wig designer Nikiya Mathis. Illusions are by Steve Cuiffo, and casting is by Stewart/Whitley.
“This beautiful and intriguing story, set in Kenya and inspired by the African myth of Marimba, the Goddess of Music, dispels Western impressions of what Africa is, and allows contemporary and ancient stories to live side by sid,” said Bioh, Ali, and Thurber in an earlier joint statement. “We cannot wait for audiences to jam out to our incredibly eclectic score that blends influences from the continent like jazz, Afrobeat, R&B, taarab, bhangra, and soul.”
For tickets and more information, visit BerkeleyRep.org.