Mar 23—26, 2017
Octavia E. Butler'sParable of the Sower
A Concert Performance
Toshi Reagon &
Bernice Johnson Reagon / NYC
“An unrepentantly political work of theater. Poignant and cautionary, this blues, gospel and funk-inflected work argues that if we want to avoid this future we’ll need diversity, strength and a song or two.”
— The New York Times
A musical event of rare power and beauty that fuses science fiction with 200 years of Black music.
In this genre-defying work of concert performance featuring a powerhouse ensemble of 20 singers and musicians, Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower brings together 30 powerful songs drawn from 200 years of Black music to give musical life to Butler’s acclaimed science fiction novel of the same name. Written by Toshi Reagon, who Vibe Magazine called “one helluva rock’n’roller-coaster ride,” in collaboration with her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon, the iconic singer, scholar and activist, Parable of the Sower becomes a mesmerizing theatrical work of rare power and beauty that reveals deep insights on gender, race and the future of human civilization.
Parable of the Sower tells the story of young Lauren Olamina, who lives in a not-so-distant America, where climate change has driven society to violence and the brink of extinction. When she loses both family and home, Lauren ventures out unprotected. What begins as a desperate flight for survival leads to something much more – a startling vision of human destiny which births “Earthseed,” a new faith based on the idea that “God is Change”.
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
559 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111
“It’s hard to imagine a performance more filmic, visceral, or dramatic.”
— THE NATIONAL, UAE
“One of the most compelling performers on the modern-rock scene.”
— THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Fierce and uncompromising … a shower of retro funk, urban blues, and folk … to hear her is to believe.”
“Toshi Reagon is at the top of her game as a composer and singer. Her métier is folk and blues, which she accompanies with acoustic guitar (the band adds drums, violin, electric bass, and electric guitar)—a standard proceeding but, in her hands, a strange and wonderful business… her voice, too, is somewhat androgynous, a reedy sound (medium-register, casual but insistent) that seems to come from a special, hidden place in her chest and hooks up with some rarely used conduit in your brain.”
— THE NEW YORKER