Universal Language

What do you get when you mix traditional theater with poetry, storytelling, rap, gospel, jazz riffs, bluesy laments and Spanish boleros? Something like Slanguage, a performance by Universes taking the stage for one night only at the University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

Universes member Steven Sapp has this to say about Slanguage: “It’s a journey into language, how we learn language and how we take it and flip it around, and who our inspirations are in terms of language, and the walks and talks of where we come from.

“We were those kids at the back of the room who have grown up and have taken street slang and Beckett and Baldwin and Keats and Ginsberg and made that our own, as well,” Sapp continues. “The show stretches from Muhammad Ali, the Puerto Rican migration, Beat poets — we cover all of that, plus street slang.”

But, Sapp adds, “It actually really isn’t that ambitious, and I’ll tell you why: It’s where the company is from. Our interests stretch from here to there. It’s everyone talking about what inspires them.”

Catch Slanguage at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $23 to $33. Be advised: The ninety-minute performance has no intermission and, as you might expect in a performance about language and slang, gritty words will be used. Call 303-357-ARTS to purchase tickets or 303-871-7720 for information; learn more about Universes at http://universesonstage.com.
Thu., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen