I was determined to hate it. I was determined to put on my “huh…?” face and be totally turned off by the loud and sometimes protrusive lyrics that defined this artist. I was determined to hate it because it was too different and too far beyond the enclosed bubble that I live in. Yes, the mission was to hate it! But I failed miserably. As the chorus of the first song began, a smile came across my face – and by the end of the third song; I was singing along, laughing out loud and enjoying this eccentric performer known as Tim Fite. [click to continue….]
"...the tone, vocals and lyrics were so soulful it had to be sinful." Photo by Joseph Moran
“Ya know it’s funny how things seem one way, then you find out things ain’t the way they looked to you” (Bad da Boom)
This was just one of the many tunes I had gleefully stuck in my head a week after seeing The Total Bent. The production was directed by the well known Joanna Settle at The Public Theater, a venue that is known for actors who deliver performances to remember.
The Total Bent is a musical about the struggle between a father and son duo. The scenes transpired in a recording studio where the protagonist, Marty Roy, fights what he believes to be the injustice that was imposed upon him. Marty wants to sing Rock and Roll and wear tight leather pants. Instead his father, Joe Roy who learned from the mistakes he made with his wife, insists on forcing Marty to sing southern Christian songs; the kind that speaks to the hearts of the “white people.” The actors take you through the struggles that Marty faces when he challenges his father’s authority while also keeping you wandering about the mystery behind his mothers death. Hints such as the mentioning of a tragedy involving his mother, were slyly thrown our way in order to leave us pondering as to why Marty truly hates his father. One of the direct struggles we went through with Marty was the loss of his electricity due to unpaid bills. The use of lighting completely engulfed us into his experience. The play entertains and is purposely filled with contradictions where Joe would yell something obscene at Marty; like orders to sing his “church song, bitch!”
It all kept my eyes glued to the stage. [click to continue….]