Twenty years ago, a classic in the Black film canon, Love Jones was released. This year, to celebrate the films 20th Anniversary, it has been adapted into an on-stage musical that is touring the country. It recently stopped in Philadelphia, so of course it was a must see.
The show boasts an all-star cast, Chrisette Michelle, Tony Grant, Musiq Soulchild, Raheem DaVaughn, Dave Hollister, MC Lyte, and more. Chrisette Michelle plays Nina and Tony Grant is Darius. There are a few additions to the stage and a few common black theatre tropes make appearances as well.
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that The Sanctuary still exists. Darius is still a writer but also sings now of course. Nina is still a talented photographer, but is now working in film. And Marvin, steals the show when he shows up. Hey, they said it was a modern adaptation right?
I will say this. Don’t go see Love Jones: The Musical thinking that it’s going to stick to the plotline of the movie. It doesn’t. Go because you want to hear some powerhouses sing and experience a twist on a classic movie. Because, if you go for the movie you will be disappointed. The plot of the musical is at times disjointed and hard to follow. Often, it felt more like a concert with acting thrown in between songs, rather than a fully cohesive musical, but it was a fun evening out nonetheless.
See Love Jones: The Musical to be inspired by Black Love, laugh at the hilarious comments and outbursts that are inevitable in a room full of black people (I mean my section was rapping Jeezy at one point), and as already said, to hear some of your faves sing. When Chrisette Michelle hit, ‘Blame it On Me’ during the show I about jumped out of my seat.
Go for that. Then, go watch the movie, the real Love Jones, after.