By Joe Dziemianowicz
Colman Domingo, who appeared in the hit 'Passing Strange,' in 'A Boy and His Soul,' which he wrote and directed. The sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger.
But the ears are nothing to sniff at. Hearing tunes from vintage records rockets Colman Domingo back to the '70s and '80s, and he takes us with him in his vibrant memoir, "A Boy and His Soul." Domingo who also appeared as a regular on the second season of Logo TV's The Big Gay Sketch Show, produced by Rosie O'Donnell was best known character is his impression of Maya Angelou.
Over the one-man play's 85 minutes, he celebrates a gawky gay kid from not-always-sunny Philadelphia who comes of age, comes out of the closet and comes to see things "with adult eyes." The story is set in motion when Domingo returns to his childhood home, which his folks are selling. A big event for anyone. Flipping through old LPs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire in the cluttered basement — neatly realized by designers Rachel Hauck (set) and Marcus Doshi (lights) — memories bubble up faster than you can say betcha by golly, wow.
Domingo's experiences, whether it's his struggles with homosexuality or his mother Edie's mortality, aren't all that extraordinary. What gives the show its unique groove is the star himself and his contagious enthusiasm for the soul, R&B and disco tunes that became the soundtrack to his life. Domingo, who was impressive in "Passing Strange," is commanding and endearing, whether he's acting, singing along to the music (he asks you to, as well) or shaking what his mama (and choreographer Ken Roberson) gave him.
Scheduled now until October 18, performances of A BOY AND HIS SOUL run Tuesdays at 7:00pm; Wednesdays through Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm at the Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street, NYC). Tickets are $55, and can be purchased either by calling 212-353-0303, or by visiting the Vineyard Theatre website - http://www.vineyardtheatre.org/. Read more: 'Passing Strange,' in 'A Boy and His Soul' by Joe Dziemianowicz