Meshell Ndegeocello’s Off-Broadway Show ‘Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin’ Comes to Harlem.

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Meshell Ndegeocello, James Baldwin

While singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello is best known for her neo-soul stylings, she’s also a prolific diverse artist who has worked in many genres.
Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin hits the Harlem Stage Gatehouse this month. Can I Get a Witness? is as an African-American church service and features original music by Ndegeocello, with direction by Charlotte Brathwaite. It is inspired by James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and the following Baldwin quote: “From my point of view, no label, no slogan, no party, no skin color, and indeed no religion is more important than the human being.”

The Fire Next Time has been a guide and a lesson, on what happened to my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents and those before them,” says Ndegeocello. “It has been a tool in understanding the condition and experience of people of color all over the globe. It has been an essential text in understanding myself. It is a testament to what is often unspoken, misunderstood and painful to hear, it has revealed truths that needed acknowledgment and illumination. I am trying to explore how we manufacture ideas, faith and belief systems. I am also interested in investigating how once one realizes the fallacies of constructs such as race, religion, ethics, politics and the media, how do these moments change us?”

Tickets are currently on sale, with performances taking place on December 7–10 at 7:30pm, and Dec 10 & 11 at 2pm. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at HarlemStage.org.

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