Darian Dauchan’s mouth spits out hot words like a Gatling gun firing at maximum speed. The New York-based performance poet aims to shock, surprise, amuse, confuse, and enlighten — often within a single breath. He’s an edgy, compulsively political performer who drops lyrical bombs on African-American stereotypes, pens skeptical love letters to President Barack Obama, and thinks it’s “gangsta” the way our elected officials “slap a black child on their lap” thinking they’ve “summoned up” a solution to race relations in America.
Dauchan says he is “intrigued by the evolution of the African-American character and identity, through dialect, attitude, music, and how culture shifts with the changing of the times.” On Thursday, July 16th, his intrigue becomes the multimedia show Entertainer’s Eulogy at TheatreWorks as part of Playhouse on the Square and First Tennessee’s ongoing Bravo Solo Works series. Entertainer’s Eulogy considers the meaning and worth of fame as it tells the story of three struggling black characters: a boxer, a soul singer, and a minstrel-show performer.
The inaugural Solo Works season began with Jayne Amelia Larson’s Driving the Saudis, a comic account of Larson’s time as one of 50 drivers working for seven Saudi royals. The series has since brought in individual performers focusing on everything form Molière to Martin Luther King. Solo Works concludes this month with Memphis artist David Prete’s All God’s Creatures, which opens on July 23rd, and with Project Paul, Jonathan Roberts’ experimental biography of the Apostle Paul, which opens on July 30th. — Chris Davis