Music was an integral piece of Derek Lee McPhatter’s Bring the Beat Back. The story was based in this Afrofuturist world in which the main characters are trying to create a revolutionary beat to make it into the mothership before the end of the world. The musical numbers are used for character development as well as pushing the storyline forward. Genres like soul, funk, and house were used to create a very vibrant and energetic atmosphere in the crowd. Although the story line was a bit confusing at times, it was clear that the storyline always came back to bringing back the beat. The beat was not able to be brought back until the main conflict in the story was resolved (more so addressed). Once Dayton and Mr. Dupree acknowledged their sexuality and were not afraid to express it, the beat was able to be created. Through Mr. Dupree, Dayton learned about the House music that would play at voguing balls which provided him with the inspiration and tools to make the special beat. All of the other characters did not know that Dayton was not “cured” of his sexuality but it is implied that they would probably eventually find out. The last scene left the audience in a bit of a cliff hanger. I assumed the play would include a scene during a voguing ball with the infamous beat playing but it ended before a scene like that could occur. I did appreciate the end when the characters came out into the audience and pulled people up to dance. Its something you don’t see in traditional high brow theatre shows and left the audience feeling like they were part of the show.

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