Vocally navigating Africa

"Barber Shop Chronicles" actors sing us across the continent

Barber Shop Chronicles takes place in barber shops in five cities spread over the continent of Africa, plus one in London catering to black men, so it’s natural that music would be used to make those magical transitions.

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In this video from the National Theater, hear how the show’s musical director, Michael Henry, worked with the actors to use their voices for those passages, drawing on the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Afropop, mouth percussion imitating essential instruments like the shekere, clave, guitar and more. You might recognize the famous South African anti-apartheid anthem Thina Sizwe.

Barber Shop Chronicles comes to the Hop for three public performances and one school matinee show on Thursday through Saturday, January 17-19.


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