Washington D.C.'s world-famous Kennedy Center was graced with the aesthetics of improvisational comedy and the culture of Hip Hop on May 11th when the comedy musical group Freestyle Love Supreme made a stop at the venue. Freestyle Love Supreme arrives direct from Broadway and is fresh off a Tony win. The brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale. As a Hip Hop head and a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, I wanted to experience the show.
As one of my good friends and I took our seats in the Eisenhower Theater portion of The Kennedy Center, one of the first things we noticed was the stage which paid homage to the golden era of Hip Hop with graffiti-style lighting resembling a boom box. Promptly at 8:05, Andrew "Jelly Donut" Bancroft, Christopher "C-Jack" Jackson, Kaila "Kaizer Roze" Mullady, and Morgan "Hummingbird" Reilly opened the show with lively energy. When the performers reached the third song, Jelly Donut introduced the guest of the night, lyrical assassin and Bronx native Dizzy.
I commend the performers for their approach to the show's format by taking suggestions from the audience and thus creating different songs each time they perform. Highlights of this performance included food topics such as oat milk, catfights, and childhood memories, all worked into song. Female MC Dizzy matched the energy of her male counterparts C-Jack and Jelly Donut, while Kaizer Roze provided impressive beatboxing skills throughout the night. I must say, though, the standout performer of the night was Hummingbird.
The singer belted out songs with the passion of a veteran, in particular when the topics were Roe. Vs. Wade or men. All of the performers were on their A-game, though. Never once did I get the feeling of competition amongst themselves. Instead, it was all about the team and giving the crowd the best performance.
While I've seen other performers take suggestions from the audience and spin them into instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers, knowing that each show is different with Freestyle Love supreme made this performance special. Freestyle Love Supreme runs through this Sunday, May 15th, at The Kennedy Center. If you cannot make the show, check out the recently released Hulu documentary We are Freestyle Love Supreme.
Final Grade: A