Jose, You Can See
North High tries hip-hop theatre.
After José Mercado's drama students at North High School wowed Denver with their production of Zoot Suit Riots last year, Mercado found it was a hard act to follow -- until he read an article about the hip-hop theater phenomenon that's shaking up New York City. He saw in his students the kind of raw talent and enthusiasm that could make the genre work at North and pitched to them the idea of creating their own hip-hop show. "They responded with excitement," Mercado recalls, and they began workshopping the concept in February. The result is one love: a hip-hop theatre joint, a string of autobiographical monologues and dance numbers made strong by the collaborative process. "It's like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhoodmeets Yo! MTV Raps," Mercado explains. "It's an entertaining show, but this is not Singing in the Rain. As you experience it, you feel the honesty and truth that comes from it."
And tonight at 8 p.m., you'll have that chance: Mercado's talented wards will strut their work onto the big Buell Theatre stage for a single performance. The Buell is at 14th and Curtis streets, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; for tickets, $10 to $20, call 1-866-464-2626 or visit www.ticketswest.com. -- Susan Froyd