The hills are alive, with the sound of . . . go-go?
That’s the idea behind “Wind Me Up, Maria!: A Go-Go Musical,” co-written and co-directed by Georgetown University theater professor Natsu Onoda Power. Having caught Chuck Brown in concert more than a few times before the Godfather of Go-Go’s 2012 death, Onoda Power wonderered how she might bring Washington’s indigenous dance music to a different kind of stage. “Go-go is energetic, it keeps going without breaks, everything is more exciting than what came before, and the audience makes the experience,” she says. “So I mulled it over and thought, ‘Why can’t I make theater like that?’ ”
So she called on Charles “Shorty Corleone” Garris, of the esteemed go-go troupe Rare Essence, to help write and direct the production she had in mind. Garris, who penned some original tunes for the musical and tweaked a few go-go classics, says that go-go’s flexible rhythms prove that this music is adaptable above all. “And anyone who comes to a go-go — no matter where they’re from — is having the time of their life,” Garris says. “So of course this is gonna work.”
To be sure, Garris recruited a squad of veteran go-go musicians to perform alongside the Georgetown theater students who act out the story — a tale of a young Georgetown nanny who teaches her kiddos about the history of go-go music. If you’re a Washingtonian in need of those very lessons, be sure to catch “Wind Me Up, Maria!” before it closes Saturday night.
Thursday through Saturday at Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, 37th and O streets NW. Shows start at 8 p.m. 202-687-3838. guevents.georgetown.edu. $7-$18.