Directed by Derrick Sanders, the coming-of-age tale will begin performances Oct. 21 and run through Nov. 16. Opening night is scheduled for Oct. 24.
The production features a cast of eight actors who also double as the show's on-stage musicians: Keith Hale as Big Ced, Jahi Kearse as Poppo, Traci Allen as Ruby, Namir Smallwood as DP, Matthew Rein as Falcon, Edwin Lee Gibson as Dr. Funk, Greta Oglesby as Big Ced's Momma and Dee Dee and Steve Sweere as Falcon's Pa.
Five Fingers of Funk was penned by hip hop theater artist Will Power and Justin Ellington. The musical, according to press notes, is described as such: "It's the 1970s and the mystical guru of all things groovy — the soulful Dr. Funk — opens the show with an introduction to the members of the newly formed band, The Five Fingers of Funk. The band has big dreams and one goal: to win the contest at Dee Dee's Nightclub. When struggles with parents, bosses, the neighborhood drug dealer and their own inner demons test the group, the music's the thing that holds them together."
In a statement CTC artistic director Peter Brosius said, "Like the recent Passing Strange and Spring Awakening, this show is completely new, completely unique. When we opened our Cargill Theatre with Flow and experienced the intensity, power and creativity of Will Power, I knew that I wanted him to create something new for CTC. He is a rare and unique artist, generous of spirit, prodigious in his talent, and vital in his theatricality."
Co-creator Power added, "Funk was the soundtrack of my childhood. As I grew into a man and turned to hip hop as my main form of creative expression, I borrowed from the funk. It's the foundation for what I do today. I wanted to create a piece rooted in my coming-of-age experiences but one that is relevant to today's audiences and to the Twin Cities. As the home turf of Prince and The Time, Minneapolis was one of the epicenters of funk." Tickets are available by calling (612) 874-0400 or by visiting www.childrenstheatre.org.
The Children's Theatre Company won the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in 2003. Founded in 1965, CTC is noted for "defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, celebrated international productions and challenging new work."