BWW Review: HOW IT'S GON' BE at Underdog: See It Before It Closes!
Teen years. I am not far from graduating from them, so I remember the energy of being a teen; of finding your place when the world seems to be shifting around you. And it's JuCoby Johnson's How It's Gon' Be that really captures this energy. How It's Gon' Be, currently playing its last weekend at Mixed Blood, is a wonderful snapshot into a young black teen's life as he grows up. There's a quote from the play that summarizes this show well: I believe it goes "You're out here looking for manhood, but manhood is gon' find you."
The play opens with some beautiful poetry, as our main character Jahaan (played wonderfully by Kory LaQuess Pullam) is a young writer. We see different iterations of poems or we understand the same poem in different ways throughout the play while we see Jahaan navigate his relationship with his father, a soldier who is away most of the time (played by Brian Grandison). We also see Jahaan navigate a relationship with a girl called Lady (played by Rajané Katurah). We see Jahaan navigate a lot through this play, which sets up a blissful and relaxed rhythm where we watch a boy become a man a little bit more.
First, I must say to go see this show. When I saw it, there were only six other people in the audience and this play deserves so much more! Mostly for its script. The script, written by JuCoby Johnson is phenomenal. It's a perfect balance of real life problems that make real life seem interesting. The story of Jahaan is so relatable that I was immediately attached to this character.
Secondly, this show is packed with Great Performances from the actors. Whether it be a mom who loves her son so much, a young woman who has a crush on a boy, or a queer kid who is struggling with their identity with societal pressures; each actor has packed so much life into their characters. There's something that happens to me when I watch good acting, I forget there's acting going on and I think I'm watching real people. This happened at this show to me.
If you want to watch a true, raw story of a black teen growing up, this is the show for you. If not, I'd still suggest you snag a ticket too. This is a play for everyone, because everyone has been or will be a teen in their lives.
How It's Gon' Be plays until June 9th at Mixed Blood Theater