Is it Genius or Drugs

 

So many times, many of us have been exposed to what is known as abstract art, leaving the interpretations to individual tastes.

We have watched the Beatles make history, a group from Liverpool, England, with little or no talent, that suddenly hit a nerve with the teenage generation of the 1960’s. This group later claimed to be greater than Jesus, drawing consternation from more balanced minds. We later found out, the Beatles had their minds altered with the use of marijuana and LSD. The so called genius, was tarnished with such revelations.

Substances, and their affects on the human brain, have always had an eager interest from within the medical community. We do know of asylums in almost every country throughout the world; the bipolar community has grown, and promulgated to the opioid community rising to epidemic status.

Medicine is diving deeper into the minds of the mentally different: the categories of genius, autistics, dementia and Alzheimer.

This four point brain wonderment, has reached the doorsteps of Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore Maryland, where Michael Hersch, a celebrated composer, wrote a piece for a string quartet, based on the etchings of Michael Mazur (Closed Ward). The piece has 13 movements, and an audience witnessed the performance, as the backdrop was a moving canvas of etchings. (See video).

Prior to the performance, a symposium discussed the complexity of the human brain, in particular mood disorders, and distinguished Professor, KAY REDFIELD JAMISON (Understanding Suicide), played a major role in removing the fear of the mentally ill among us.

So when we hear of these child prodigies in music, art or science, or someone who suddenly “flips the script”,  becomes famous overnight, it is not negative to ask, is it genius, or drugs?

Michael Hersch and friends

Composer Michael Hersch, Dr. Thomas Traill, husband to Dr. Redfield Jamison (r), professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins, Mood Disorders Center, Baltimore Md.

Stephanie Mills and Queen Latifah at Center Stage

 

Anyone who has  listened to Stephanie Mills, experienced the thrill of her voice spiraling through one’s veins, as she hit those high notes effortlessly; what a thrill!

Queen Latifah hit fame singing about issues impacting black women, using the genre of hip hop.

Both Mills and Latifah rose to fame, trying to get to “the other side” of life.

It was in 1865, when ALICE IN WONDERLAND was published; a few years later, “Through the Looking Glass”. After 150 years, we are still watching the impact and interpretations of these tales on our lives.

For the African American community, the WIZ movie eclipsed the Judy Garland vocal presentation of THE WIZARD of OZ.

Now here we are at Baltimore Center Stage, where both Alice and Glass are combined in a musical, LOOKINGGLASS ALICE.

This is a fable, from which the term, “fabulous” can truly be the end product. Alice wants to be a Queen, to find out what life is like “on the other side”; like “breathing under water”, not easy. We’ve heard it, “it takes a thousand years to make a lady”. A queen has many more responsibilities than a regular person. MARKITA PRESCOTT, with fans and bouquet on opening night

Jessica Bennett, of Baltimore

Jessica Bennett, a graduate of Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Md.

The game of chess is incorporated in this play to symbolize the degree of difficulty that must be mastered, to rise to the top. This Alice is black, just as Dorothy was in the WIZ. The producers decided the only way Alice can become a Queen, is through hip hop, she becomes Queen Latifah.

So to play Alice, this person has to sing, dance, rap, and make it easy. MARKITA PRESCOTT, gushes with competence, she took me to the past, and brought me to the present. The incorporation of local talent should make you proud: JESSICA BENNETT,  a recent graduate of Garrison Forest, and SENSI SILAB, Baltimore School for the Arts.

The other supporting cast members should get your standing ovation. In the end I hope you feel as I did, and do: MARKITA  has skills, showing no fear of heights, as she sang from swings in the rafters, or saying “thank you” with the charm of an appreciative performer.

THREE SCORE and TEN

Gumption Group

Milton Dugger Jr.’s new record label in Baltimore Md.,: GUMPTION RECORDS

ART JENKINS, MC

Walking with history, ART JENKINS, Master of Ceremonies.

It’s the generation that changed the world after World War 2., the generation that made love in open fields (Woodstock), defied their parents, made elopement and blue jeans common, went to Asia and fought in the Vietnam War, and came home to America to ride Harley Davidson motor cycles; got hooked on marijuana, and found their rhythm in R & B, and Rock music. This generation is now 70 years plus.

 Psalm 90:10King James Version (KJV)

10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away”.

Many of this remaining generation are no longer here on earth, but for those who remain, its celebration time!

It is 2017, and it is time to look back, to reminisce, and Milton Dugger Jr. knows how to make the generation remnants throw away their canes, forget the “Bengay”, and enjoy the moment.