“‘Slave Play’ is a radical study in American memory, the psychologies of the prized and the oppressed; the grateful and the entitled; who’s top, who’s bottom; who speaks, who can’t, and who betta listen,” wrote American poet Morgan Parker. And I would have to agree. “Slave Play” is not for the hard of heart, the hard of “hearing” or the weak in spirit. However, Mr. Harris’ play must be seen as part of the overall process of awakening, healing, and making sense of it all before it is too late.
The most prestigious comedy event of Jersey City, the Sixth Borough Comedy Festival, returns this coming summer for the third successive year with a new name: Jersey City Comedy Festival. The event will showcase a diverse range of talent representative of the second most diverse city in the nation, according to wallethub.com.
Until recently, this sad town of Jersey City was a comedy desert, or perhaps more aptly, a comedy death trap. One was hard pressed to find a comedy show in town.
Five years ago, a column like this one wouldn’t have been possible. Not that Jersey City didn’t have the bands, or the talent, or the vision; those have always been here. Shows, though—those weren’t on the calendar. Writing about music in Jersey City meant coming face to face with a performance-space shortage that was as inexplicable as it was frustrating. A city of a quarter million people simply didn’t contain many reliable and regularly booked music venues.