Oral Funk Poetry Productions will launch its fifth season of “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show” at The Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., from 9 to 11 p.m. this Friday, April 20.
The season-opening performance will be a celebration of National Poetry Month. The theme will be Jamaican and Caribbean culture through spoken word, dramatizations, live music, vocalists, visual arts and more.
Featured performers include Tony Award-winning HBO Def Poet Black Ice, who appeared on six seasons of the popular show and starred in Def Poetry on Broadway. He’s lent his voice to hip-hop projects by such artists at Method Man and opened for Mary J. Blige on her 2006 world tour. Black Ice also has appeared on BET’s Live 8 Concert Special, Rap City the Basement and 106th & Park, as well as on NBC’s Showtime at the Apollo.
Joining Black Ice will be singer and poet Scorpio Blues, who also has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry. Her recent CD, Scorpio Rising, features her soul music and some poetry, while her first CD, Blue Blushin’, was an acclaimed poetry work. In 2006, Scorpio Rising became the first female and the first African-American to win the Ill List Poets championship. She also has her own spoken word and music entertainment, management and promotions company called Hot Water Cornbread.
The Flex Crew Reggae Band, a popular group from Columbus, will perform live music. Its seven members hail from a variety of musical backgrounds, resulting in a versatile and high-energy band with an array of musical styles, including funk, R&B, soul, hip hop and roots reggae. In addition, local spoken word poet I Witness Life will emcee.
Tickets cost $20 and can be purhcased at www.ticketcenterstage.com, by calling 937-228-3830 or at the door.
Oral Funk Poetry Productions has partnered with De’Lish Café, 139 N. Main St., for the event. The restaurant, located across the street from the theater, will offer special Jamaican and Caribbean menu items and drinks.
During its first four seasons, “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show” featured local and national poets, musicians, actors, vocalists, dancers and visual artists presenting numerous forms of self-expression ― often to sold-out crowds.
“We’re so excited to continue producing our show at The Loft Theatre after moving the production to this great venue last year,” said Sierra Leone of Oral Funk Poetry Productions. “This location has more seating for our shows, which often sell out, and has allowed us to kick up the performance a notch thanks to access to more professional production equipment and capabilities in the theater. We also have appreciated the opportunity to work with and learn from the professionals at The Human Race Theatre Company.”