Get with the FUNK at ‘Play That Funky Music’

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Bob Evans

By Bob Evans

You’d never know it, but if you go to this show, you are gonna be schooled in FUNK–that’s right schooled in FUNK with Scott Cox’s psychedelic journey into writing and starring in a one-man-show about famous Black funk star, George Clinton.

Bob Evans

Suffice it to say, Cox believes his acting expertise, research, and writing overcomes the most noticeable situation–he’s white and wants to portray a well-known black performer. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything!

His wife tells him to stop the madness. His friends and colleagues tell him, “No,” but he persists in following his dream–and the funk. His urban hair-dresser explains his hair does not conform to ethnic hair and cannot be put in dreds overnight. Still, his dream continues as he trips out on “special” brownies, cocaine, and acid to conjure the spirit of George Clinton while tracing the development of Funk.

Troy Cox & KC Fringe

Overall, party time begins when Cox walks on stage. His performance is delightful, innocent, and charming as he maneuvers through the self-written piece. His performance, though sublime, depends on the equally stupendous performance of Sherri Roulette-Mosley as Michelle, the urban beautician. Their scenes are knee-slapping funny with Cox doing the most awkward white man trying to be black that one can imagine. Everything is wrong from “Wha’s Up? and every word after.

Troy Cox & KC Fringe

And the party only gets better when the bows begin and audience participation brings the funk to the Just Off Broadway Theatre in the second of three offerings by Relevance Productions. No one leaves the show without some hearty laughs.

The following is the playwright’s note about the show:

“A Funk-tastic celebration of P-Funk Mythology”

Troy Cox & KC Fringe

A note from playwright, Scott Cox
You might be asking, as many have, “What on Earth compelled you to write this show?” It sprang from multiple inspirations. First, I’m a major fan of George Clinton and all things Funkadelic.

His influence on music is immeasurable. His catalogue is the most sampled in modern music. Even if you don’t think you know Clinton’s P-Funk… you’ve heard his music. When I started collecting records a few years back, I got deeper into his mythology, which was laid out in the 70s through a series of albums by Parliament and Funkadelic (his two bands, made up of the same musicians).

Troy Cox & KC Fringe

I discovered a radical anti-establishment gospel of free-thinking and self-empowerment embedded in infectiously funky jams populated by a cast of wacky space age characters. His reputation for eccentricity often obscured his message, but Clinton was always speaking truth to power.

I got the idea for this show last summer. I wanted to create a show which embodied all the best elements of Fringe—boundary-pushing, outlandish, meta-theatrical, laughable, colorful—yet rooted in a universal theme.
It goes without saying that we have a race problem in this country… this show confronts that truth with humor, a dose of fantasy, and plenty of absurdity. Theatre reflects culture, after all, while posing questions which could, in theory, lead to a change in social consciousness. While I did want to celebrate George Clinton’s legacy, my wider goal was to explore the race dynamic in America through a depiction of the cultural appropriation of black culture by a clueless white man.

I decided to make myself the butt of the joke. I hope the joke makes you laugh. I hope our show gives you a deeper appreciation of George Clinton’s genius. Most of all, I hope you will take a cue from Starchild and choose Love over Fear in everything you do.
Enjoy the show and keep grooving, just for the Funk of it.

The World Premiere of an original comedy
by Scott Cox
Directed by Trevor Belt

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Scott Cox, 39, a holy fool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Cox
Lil’ Poot, 40, his wife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annie Schwaner
Trevor, 30, his gentlemanly friend . . . . . . . . . Trevor Belt
Derek, 32, his emotive friend . . . . . . . . . Derek Trautwein
Mark, 40, his practical friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hill
Michelle, 50, a hair stylist . . . . . . Sherri Roulette-Mosley
George Clinton, 76, yet ageless . . . . . . . . . Leland Mosby
The Funk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Allison Buell

TECHNICAL STAFF

Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kaitlin “Tuna” Langton
Technical Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Derek Trautwein
Choreography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah Smeltzer
Scenography . . . . . . . . . . Trevor Belt & Derek Trautwein
Sound Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Derek Trautwein
Specialty Props Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Billingsley
Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trevor Belt
Props Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . Cast of Bernarda Alba
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shelley McLendon
Crew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mary Dygert & Angie Lorang

THE SCENE

Where: Various Locations around Kansas City, Missouri
* Scott’s Home, Boomer’s Bar & Grill,
Scott’s Mindscape, Michelle’s Hair Salon, and
Backstage at the Just Off Broadway Theatre
When: Spring to Summer, 2017

Tags: KC Fringe Festival, “Play That Funky Music”, Relevance Productions, Just Off Broadway Theater, Kansas City Fringe Festival, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Kansas City Theater

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