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A Party at the Crossroads: A Post-Modernist Cabaret

  • Apr 6 — Apr 23, 2023

"A Party at the Crossroads" is a work of storytelling and musical theater presented cabaret-style, written (and mostly performed) by Mwalim and directed by his son, The ZYG 808, running at the Cotuit Center for the Arts Black Box theater April 7 - 23 with a preview performance on April 6. This show marks the directorial debut of The ZYG 808 (born Morgan James Peters, II).

Ever been stranded in Paris and your French sucks? Ever been to a bachelor party? Ever meet one of your idols as you're getting off stage? Ever get bookings for your band that only knew five tunes? Drawing from Wampanoag, Afro-Caribbean, and African American heritage influences, "A Party at the Crossroads" is a journey of often hilarious and occasionally hair-raising tales and adventures of a veteran performing artist; interspersed with amazing soul, jazz and blues music, as one would expect at a Post-Modernist's (as opposed to Postmodernist, because the author loves puns), cabaret.

Mwalim is a tenured professor of English, Communications & Black Studies at UMass Dartmouth, where he teaches creative writing, digital filmmaking, and oral traditions. "A Party at the Crossroads" was first performed at the Falmouth Library in 1996, and in 1998 Mwalim first presented "A Party..." as a performance work at the ProdigalSon Cafe in Hyannis. Subsequently it was produced by New African Company in Boston and the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in New York City before becoming a touring piece from 1999 - 2004, taking the storytelling and music show on the road, hitting spoken-word and open mics from Maine to North Carolina; leading to with "A Party..." being performed at venues throughout the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean; experiencing evolutionary revisions as time and experiences of the author changed. Some of the tales from earlier versions of the show found their way into Mwalim's short story collection, A MIXED MEDICINE BAG and his novel, LAND of the BLACK SQUIRRELS; and music that would go on to receive Grammy nominations and considerations on The GroovaLottos 2017 album, ASK YO MAMA. An entertaining blend of storytelling and performances of original and classic soul, blues and jazz, the latest version of the show features a myriad of local artists randomly appearing during the show's run.

"A Party..." marks the theatrical directorial debut of musician/composer and podcast host, The ZYG 808. Having grown up exposed to and involved in the theatrical productions of New African Company and Oversoul Theatre Collective, ZYG grew up watching his father, as well as directors such as Naheem Garcia, Vincent Siders, and John Adekoje develop productions and plays and decided to work on this show as a class assignment for the social engaged arts program at Goddard College where ZYG is a junior, majoring in music composition and audio engineering. Mwalim recalls a performance of the show about 15 years earlier, where a 4-year-old ZYG came out on stage and switched off his father's amp in the middle of a song, and returned to the wings. "I told the audience that we train performers in our family by starting them out as hecklers." The two artists are no strangers to collaborating. Both are members of the popular soul-funk band, The GroovaLottos as well as part of the production team at Polyphonic Studios in Buzzards Bay.

"A Party at the Crossroads" is being produced through a special collaboration with Oversoul Theatre Collective, Inc., a 28 year-old professional arts and education organization, with a focus in developing and presenting works of outstanding quality, primarily by and about Black and Native American people.

A Party at the Crossroads: A Post-Modernist Cabaret
In the Vivian and Morton Sigel Black Box Theater
Apr 6 - 23, 2023
Thu, Fri, Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2:00pm
(No performance on April 9/Easter Sunday).

All shows in the Black Box will be a part of our new Pick Your Price program.
You decide what your ticket costs, from $10-$50. No other gimmicks, no preferred seating, no special promotions.


Pick Your Own Price Tickets
Card to Culture Program
Open Seat Program