Touching a vast array of issues, from gay prejudice to child molestation, ‘Da Kink in My Hair' is an extraordinary piece of art by Trey Anthony. The story of eight contemporary black women is told with a lot of singing, drumming and dancing. The joys they experience, the hardships they suffer and the struggles they face are projected beautifully in this play.
‘Da Kink in my Hair' is set in a Caribbean salon, in Toronto. The play narrates the story of eight black Caribbean immigrant women to North America. Brilliant music and singing, along with an out-of-the-ordinary storyline, makes the play an absolutely unforgettable experience. With positive press reviews and public response, it can be safely said that the musical is a must-not-miss show.
A Little History
In July 2001, ‘Da Kink in my Hair' debuted at Toronto Fringe Festival. It received a very warm response and long queues of people waiting to get Da kink in my Hair tickets for the show were seen. Following this, the musical was taken to Toronto Harbourfront Centre, for Black History Kuumba Festival. It's sold out tradition of shows was witnessed there again and the musical became a sensation in town. After that, New York Fringe Festival hosted the play, where it was entitled as “The Pick of the New York Festival”, out of 196 productions. The cast of the play became so popular in New York that they were invited back to the city later, for a private show for NBC (National Broadcasting Company).
Theatre Passe Muraille chose Da Kink in my Hair as the climax to its silver jubilee season, in 2003. The musical opened with rave reviews and sold-out shows, entertained audiences for three straight weeks and made record box office sales. This particular event also earned the play four nominations for Dora Awards (Toronto's Theatre Awards). The musical had its U.S. premier in September 2005 at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. It led the play to receive four NAACP awards, including one for the Best Playwright. 2006 was the year for U.K premier of the play.
Let's Get Introduced to the Eight Protagonists
The president of the salon is ‘Novelette'. She connects with people instantly, making them comfortable enough to open about their most private secrets and challenges. Hence her signature line for the play is “If you want to know a black woman, you touch her hair”.
Patsy is another character who is grief stricken because of her son's shooting at the high school dance. Sherelle is a personification of a dream for modern women, ruling the financial field. But beneath the confidence lurks a lonely woman who only opens up once she meets Novelette. Shawnette has a past, when she uncomplainingly worked extra shifts to help her husband get through his study years, but he was now enjoying a luxurious lifestyle with his new posh wife instead of Shawnette.
Sharmaine is an actress whose mother had been there for her in every way but fails to accept her sexual preferences. Staci-Anne is another lady suffering from the imbalances in her sexual life. She misses her grandmother in Jamaica but likes it in Canada, and her secret history of incest keeps her scared of being kicked out of the country. Nia is ambivalent of her late mother who always preferred her light colored sister over her, and lastly Miss Enid is a widow who has been able to lure her neighbor into giving her some good loving.
With these eight diverse characters and eight irresistible stories, Da Kink in my Hair is definitely a must-watch play. No wonder The Stage, London UK says “…I have rarely seen such a response from the audience, with cheers and rounds of applauds throughout the show and a standing ovation culmination…”