On Thursday night, Erykah Badu premiered her first performance of Live Nudity, a one-woman show she’s performing at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) in Dallas. This isn’t your typical Badu concert. It’s actually a dramatic piece that’ll feature her acting, singing and dancing and, in a few instances, improvising.
According to the Dallas Observer, it didn’t go as smoothly as she hoped. They note that it felt like a “sloppy dress rehearsal” for a show that’s supposed to get better. But for the hour and 45-minute show, it was what Badu admitted to the audience, “just me making this shit up right now.”
Here’s what the Dallas Observer wrote:
Yes, Badu dons sock puppets and, using a Rosie Perez accent, has her cotton-clad fists get into a domestic squabble that devolves into repetitions of “fuckin’ shit” until you wish one of the puppets would actually sock the other sock and knock it out. Another bit that goes stale puts Badu center stage slowly eating a bag of potato chips. That’s it. Crunch, crunch, crunch into the mic.
The report continues with Badu telling her audience that Live Nudity was her way “as an artist … to be in control of my inconsistencies.” The show was divided into 13 scenes, where she sang for three of them. The rest were improvised and performance art. They do point out a positive highlight of Badu’s performance yesterday.
Badu did reveal some comic potential playing an unctuous New Age motivational speaker explaining chakras and forcing audience participation before comically dubbing patrons “pedophiles” and “thieves.” She’s onto some funny source material there.
Finally, they offer some strong criticisms to tighten up her act.
There are a couple of moments in Live Nudity that hint at what Badu the solo actor and comedian might be capable of if she wrote, rewrote and polished a script, rehearsed it thoroughly, worked with a good director and added some touches of showbiz glam.
You can watch some Instagram videos of the show below, and you can read the full review here.
A video posted by @deflogik on Oct 29, 2015 at 8:16pm PDT
A photo posted by Yvette (@loveanaturalme) on Oct 29, 2015 at 7:02pm PDT
A video posted by Candice (@taylormadepr) on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:11pm PDT