From Africa to Minnesota, Cage is an enchanting beam –

Khephra knows West Africa. Before she reaches her teen years, she’s lived in during slightest 4 opposite countries there, and she clearly loves all of a different things her home continent offers, such as fantastic landscapes, wildlife, strain and dance. But what happens when Khephra is unexpected transplanted into a Minnesota winter? Will a collection she’s brought from Africa assistance her to adjust to this new culture?

Her mutation from unapproachable African lady to dedicated tyro of hip-hop is chronicled in Sha Cage’s new play full of music, “Khephra: A Hip Hop Holiday Story,” being presented in a insinuate precinct of Minneapolis’ Open Eye Figure Theatre. While it still feels like something of a work in progress, “Khephra” is full of appetite and affection, and it has during a core a miraculous opening by Cage. She creates a impression full of mindfulness with any new thing she encounters, and compels a assembly to join her on her wide-eyed journey.

While Cage is locally eminent as an Ivey-winning actor with credits during a Guthrie, Penumbra and Mixed Blood, she’s been expanding her ability set in new years by formulating one-woman shows with her executive father E.G. Bailey, 2015’s “U/G/L/Y” carrying toured a U.S. and United Kingdom. While “Khephra” isn’t a solo effort, Cage carries it via a 75 minutes, save for when Jamela Pettiford cuts lax with a gospel balance and leads an assembly sing-along.

What Cage has combined is a kid-friendly story that employs puppetry, singing, rapping and dance both African and civic American. It helps fill a hip-hop-shaped blank in Twin Cities holiday melodramatic programming, nonetheless many of a uncover leans on African folk tales and reminiscences that would fit with any season. The many involving scenes come when Khephra rhapsodizes about a wonders of Africa — in communication created by Ibe Kaba — and collaborates with Alissa Paris and Destiny Anderson to spin a chronicle about a drastic frog.

When a movement moves to Minneapolis, things feel a small reduction sure-footed, notwithstanding some excellent street-savvy dancing by Paris. Yet that’s where we get to declare Cage’s really plausible mutation from honeyed African lady to a teen perplexing to unconvincingly plan toughness who but starts to find her voice. While, for during slightest a era now, internal stories have abounded of a conflicts between African- and American-born black kids, “Khephra” comes to concentration on how a loyalty secure in adore of hip-hop bridges some of that divide.

As this play is revised and constructed again — maybe as an annual holiday charity — maybe that loyalty will lower and benefit layers. And maybe a expanding fissures in Khephra’s attribute with her mom will find larger wish of healing. And let’s wish that they find a improved Christmas tune to hip-hop adult than “The 12 Days of Christmas,” which, while given a apropos African flavor, requires a joining of courtesy camber reduction than ideal for a youngest assembly members.

But, other than that, “Khephra” succeeds during being a kids uncover that Cage says she has wanted to create. And her opening is good value experiencing, no matter your age.

If You Go

What: “Khephra: A Hip Hop Holiday Story”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Thursday and Friday, 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9

Where: Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 24th St. E., Mpls.

Tickets: $15-$5 (children underneath 5 free), accessible during 612-874-6338 or

Capsule: Despite a infrequently unprepared feel, Sha Cage’s latest is an beguiling kid-friendly tour from West Africa to Minneapolis.

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