Magic moments on stage

UP CLOSE / Kenneth Lee Roberson

Theater

September 09, 2005|By J. Wynn Rousuck

HE'S DANCED and sung in a rock band. He's taught puppets to dance in the Broadway musical Avenue Q. Now Kenneth Lee Roberson will bring a touch of the tropics to Baltimore when he directs and choreographs the West Indian-flavored Once on This Island at Center Stage from Dec. 16-Jan. 22.

The Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical is adapted from Rosa Guy's novel, My Love, My Love, which is in turn adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. "The magic is in the storytelling, and it's in the movement," Roberson says.

The Georgia native's first career was in journalism. Then he won a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and never looked back.

Last season, he choreographed the Elvis musical, All Shook Up, on Broadway. Over the summer, he worked with the Las Vegas company of Avenue Q. He also launched a one-man show, Middle Aged Passage Crises, at Joe's Pub at New York's Public Theater. In it, Roberson states his new-found philosophy: "Midlife is the adolescence of old age."

Information: 410-332-0033.

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