Quote of the Day: Take on the road – wherever it leads. Takeaway lyric from Thunder Knocking on the Door, written by Keith Glover, Music and Lyrics by Keb’ Mo’ and Anderson Edwards. A powerful, beautiful, spellbinding, toe-tapping performance! Presented by Ten Thousand Things Theatre, directed by Marcela Lorca, it’s billed as “A Blusical Tale of Rhythm and the Blues.” Oh, ya, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. 

This is not a true Faustian tale, although it has similar elements. The song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” from The Charlie Daniels Band, is a comparison that comes to mind. Instead of dueling fiddles, it’s dueling guitars. Marvell Thunder (Ronnie Allen) is not the Devil. He is a supernatural being who desires the powers of the guitars bequeathed to Glory (Rajané Katurah) and her brother Jaguar Jr. (Brian Bose) by their father when he passed away. Jaguar foolishly looses his to Thunder. He wants to win it back and needs his sister’s guitar to do it. Meanwhile, Thunder sweet talks her, making her believe that he loves her and can make her life better. One way is to restore her sight. She was was blinded when a car struck her when she was in a deep depression.

Rajane’ Katurah as Glory and Ronnie Allen as Thunder in Thunder Knocking on the Door. Ten Thousand Things Theatre promo photo

Greta Oglseby plays their mother, Good Sister Dupree, and dang, she’s good. (She’s clearly a Twin Cities favorite.) She often plays some heavy hitting rolls. This one is, too. Nothing like a strong mama to set the tone. But, it also gives her a chance to shine in some great comedic moments as well. (Watch this interview with her and director Marcela Lorca.) Her interplay with Dregster (T. Mychael Rambo) is delightful. They have such great chemistry. He’s trying to woo her. Her late husband was his twin brother. She struggles with that and her own personal demons. He wants to have a good life with her and show her how much he loves her. They’re both scratching their heads as they deal with her young adult children and their choices and actions. 

Greta Oglseby as Good Sister Dupree and T. Mychael Rambo as Dregster in Thunder Knocking on the Door. Ten Thousand Things Theatre promo photo.

This blusical has everything: family dynamic, a love story, a mythical character, soul-searching, and some of the best music I’ve ever heard. I loved the mother-daughter duet, a tender moment that put tears in my eyes. It was followed by a funny duet between Dregster and Jaguar Jr. And, Marvell Thunder charms everyone! Brian Bose gets credits for choreography as well, which was exciting and helps tell story. He is amazing to watch!

Brian Bose (choreogrpaher/actor) and company of Thunder Knocking on the Door. Ten Thousand Things Theatre promo photo.

You might be familiar with the composer/singer/songwriter Keb’ Mo’. His music gets right into your soul. Sanford Moore is the Music Director and on keys, and Deevo is the guitarist. He worked his magic! I was longing to purchase a recording.

Here’s a sample of Keb’ Mo’s style, Put a Woman in Charge (it put tears in my eyes)

Ten Thousand Things Theatre has a unique mission. They bring theater to people, performing in schools, shelters, jails, and in smaller venues like the one I attended at Open Book in Minneapolis. Most of the paid performances sell out. They keep their set and props to a minimum. The cast is usually small. This one has five actors and two musicians, and a few stage hands. The founder Michelle Hensley started the theater company in 1991. Her book All the Lights On is an insightful look at doing theater and making it accessible to all people. 

You can see Thunder Knocking on the Door at various locations through April 5, 2020. Please visit the Ten Thousand Things website for more information. 

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What skill do you have that you’d use in a battle with a mystical creature? What would you risk in doing so?