Thomas W. Jones' new musical Hip 2: Birth of the Boom has just arrived in Washington DC, fresh from its premiere at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. ...Boom bursts open the season by christening the Studio's newly renovated Mead Theatre, running through November 10.
...Boom is a sequel to Jones' The Wizard of Hip, a solo show performed at the Studio in 1991, in which he played a young, super-cool Everyman, "Afro-Jo." In ...Boom, a full blown, comedic musical, the audience witnesses "Afro-Jo" come of age, travelling through rites of passage, from birth to fatherhood.
The original music ranges in style from the a cappella harmonies of the 50s to contemporary rap. The music is by Jones and musical collaborator Keyth Lee, and is sung with Jones by the Do-Wop Orchestra, consisting of four "brothers," who interact with "Afro-Jo."
Five hundred free tickets to Boom have been made available to youth organizations and mentoring programs that serve young people in inner city communities, for special matinee performances on Nov. 6 and 9.
Studio Artistic Director Joy Zinoman feels that the message of the play requires the theatre to offer such an opportunity, adding "It's a chance for the city's youth to connect with an important contemporary theatre artist whose message and style is both powerful and uplifting." ...Boom marks the fourth collaboration between Atlanta-based Jones and the Studio Theatre. Last season, Jones directed Bessies Blues, was honored with six Helen Hayes Awards, including "Best Musical." The digitally recorded CD of the score is available in the lobby of the theatre.
Hip 2: Birth of the Boom runs at the Mead Theatre, 1333 P Street, through November 10. Tickets are $19.50-29.50, and are available by calling (202) 332-3300. For information about the free ticket offer, contact Amy Krehbiel at (202) 232-7267.
--By Blair Glaser