Boston Children’s Chorus Tackles Grown-Up Themes In ‘A Boy Called King’ – by Andrea Shea
When the Boston Children’s Chorus and the ICA first asked Haitian-American Daniel Roumain to compose a new work to celebrate the chorus’ 10th anniversary, the 42-year-old knew he wanted to create a fairy tale that would attract teens.
“But as I’m sure you’re aware, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ doesn’t really play well anymore,” he said. So he started by asking himself, “How do you bring the excitement of a fairy tale to someone who’s a jaded 14- or 15-year-old? … How do you really get their attention?”
With sex, apparently. And romance.
Roumain turned to poet, performance artist and playwright Marc Bamuthi Joseph to write the words for “A Boy Called King.” In the end, Bamuthi Joseph conjured a poem-like story about a young, disfigured black boy named King who falls in love with a much older white woman. Roumain calls it a reimagining of the iconic “King Kong” tale, built with language and cadences that channel the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.
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