THEATRE NOVA PRESENTS THE MICHIGAN PREMIERE OF
Kill Move Paradise
by James Ijames
Opening night May 24, running through June 16, 2019
Kill Move Paradise tells the story of Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny, four black men who find themselves stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife trying to find the logic in the senselessness. Wrenched out of their young lives before they even knew what was happening, they confront the brutal reality of their pasts and scramble to make sense of their surreal new world. Audacious, often hilarious, and original, Kill Move Paradise depicts these young men as symbols of hope and illustrates the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO LATE SEATING FOR THIS PRODUCTION.
The production is approximately 80 minutes long, and there is free onsite parking.
Directed by Diane Hill, Kill Move Paradise features Miles Bond, Dan Johnson, Jonathan Jones, and Dez Walker. The production and design team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Brian E. Buckner (original music, choreography), Diane Hill (sound design), Haley Cook (costume design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager, props).
Black afterlives matter in ‘Kill Move Paradise’
“Theatre Nova presents the Michigan premiere of James Ijames’ remarkably crafted, surreal play, Kill Move Paradise. This mesmerizing Theatre Nova production, directed by Diane Hill, elevates the characters’ sense of desperation and our own connection to their pain and sorrow by staging the play in the round. The adult men seek connection and transformation, and it comes as they set aside their own pain to help Tiny come to terms with the situation. This play is unsettling, to be sure, and has it’s grim moments. But it is also funny at times, thoroughly engaging and beautifully executed. The acting is top drawer. Kill Move Paradise throws a light on the darkest corners of the American experience. It doesn’t presume to give us answers. In an NPR interview regarding the current Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jeff Daniels remarked that the difference between art and entertainment is that art poses questions that each of us must answer for ourselves. This is art.
PULP: Arts Around Ann Arbor Review
LIVING WHILE BLACK: THEATRE NOVA’S PRODUCTION OF JAMES IJAMES' “KILL MOVE PARADISE” IS POWERFUL’
“Ijames uses a variety of techniques to tell the story and make the argument that this official violence feeds other violence and must stop. It’s a theatrical sermon, but one that is quite powerful at times, grimly funny, verbally adept with the rhythms of jazz, hip-hop, and Sunday gospel music. Director Diane Hill and her four talented actors bring all this to vivid life with precise timing and an immersion into the distinctly different personalities of the four victims. Dez Walker brings that calm but angry demeanor as both the starting point for the audience and pivot for the others who follow. Jonathan Jones is the comforting one, the hugger, the guy least likely to be a threat. Dan Johnson brings energy and rapid-fire reading of lines that zoom in and out like a Robin Williams monologue or a Richard Pryor breakdown. Miles Bond also brings humor to this grim situation as he leads his fellows through a game of make-believe. Ijames makes a strong case that it is long past time to take stronger actions to deal with a never-ending crisis. The police have a job to do, but they can’t do it if they victimize the community they are supposed to be protecting. Ijames leaves it to the audience to understand just how serious this is.