The Sound of My Hometown

If you're in New York in the next two months and you feel like taking in a Broadway show without actually dealing with the congested tourist-mob scene that is now Times Square, then you need to go to the Grammarcy Theatre on 23rd street and see From My Hometown, a delightful musical, featuring terrific actors who can really sing some great R & B hits from "back in the day". The plot has three would be stars arriving at the Apollo Theatre on 125th Street in Harlem, New York City to audition at an open call in 1980. They are not only from three different regions of the country, but are named as such; Memphis, (Kevin R. Free), Detroit (Andre Garner), and Philly (Rodney Hicks.) They try to out sing each other at first and in the process, pay homage to some classics like "Try a Little Tenderness," "What a Wonderful World," and "Dock of the Bay." When they find out they are in fact long lost cousins ( a bit of a stretch in the plot) they eventually form a trio and become huge stars.

All the actors do a great job clearly defining their characters in contrast to the others and all three have really amazing voices. For those born during the zenith of classic R & B, the musical is almost a tease, as each jem that is sung is only introduced ever so briefly. True the plot is rather simple; Detroit is dealing with a negligent girlfriend from back home, Detroit is in love with an unattainable Patty Labelle, and Memphis is trying to understand the ways of the big city. However the funniest moments come when each one auditions for outlandish male and female producers that are laughingly played by the other two. And when they all sing together a cappella, the sound is superb. Toward's the show's end, I felt it was definitely $45 well spent.

From My Hometown
Grammarcy Theatre
127 East 23rd St.


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