Best One-Man Show: “Twisted Melodies” by Baltimore Center Stage

centerstage.org

The story of “Twisted Melodies” is pretty simple: Soul musician Donny Hathaway is alone in a hotel room with a keyboard following a recording session. But as his paranoid schizophrenia creeps in, he engages the audience—he views the patrons as “angels” there to protect him—in a captivating monologue that oscillates from autobiographical storytelling to musical performance to a struggle with his own mental demons. The stage effects and lighting gave the paranoiac episodes a real feeling of horror. And Kelvin Roston Jr., who also wrote the play, delivered a powerhouse performance as Hathaway, bringing the joy in the singer’s music to life and making the viewer feel the pain in Hathaway’s moments of depression.

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