D’Lo gets down with Pangea


Pangea World Theater’s area premiere Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show at Intermedia Arts will take some folks by surprise. After all, when was the last time theater—or anything else—dealt with something as deep as being gay, Hindu and into hip-hop? Go ahead: sit down, relax, and take a minute to remember. It’ll come to you.

Fact is, as much as Ramble-Ations pushes the envelope, the show is a perfect fit at Pangea, a company that’s built its bones on international multiculturalism, staging such diversely—and richly—informed artistry as Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease, Athol Fugard’s Island and The Inner World by Meena Natarajan, who started and runs the outfit with director Diphankar Mukherjee. And the work is consistently solid. I say that as someone who enjoyed covering Pangea Word Theater as a journalist for over five years. (Later, they produced a play of mine.)

Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, directed by Adelina Anthony, is presented by Pangea World Theater from April 17-19 at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. A post-performance discussion will follow the Friday and Saturday shows. For information and tickets ($12-$15), see pangeaworldtheater.org.

This time out, it’s what looks to be a tailor-made hit in Twin Cities theater. The Tamil-Sri-Lankan-American artist, based in Los Angeles, has recognition nationally and internationally. She’s even worked with local legend Laurie Carlos. The smart money says D’Lo gets down.

D’Lo hit the ground running in 2004 with her first play play Ballin With My Bois and hasn’t stopped picking up steam ever since, bearing down on us now with this new joint. Ballin was greeted with, among numerous successes, a sold-out NYC run at WOW Café Theatre with D’Lo directing herself in a nine-member cast. She began performing Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show in January 2006 and is still running strong.

“Gay, Hindu, hip-hop. These three things make me but don’t allow for one another. This is my attempt at fusing these elements of my being onto the stage.” The script is culled from several of D’Lo’s projects over the past years, weaving personal stories through poetry, music, comedy and video. A host of characters, real and imaginary, share their stories about the contradictions of existing in America—where one’s traditions and culture are constantly challenged. Sounds like it’s going be one hell of show.

Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.