Annenberg Center Live Presents Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version With Toshi Reagon, October 1-3 (Philly 360)

September 9, 2015

By James Claiborne

For PHILLY 360

This October, Annenberg Center Live kicks off its 2015/2016 season with a groundbreaking work-in-progress that brings famed science fiction author, the late Octavia Butler's novel Parable of the Sower to the stage.

The heartwork of singer-songwriter-guitarist Toshi Reagon and her mother Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, who is the founder of notable folk group Sweet Honey In The Rock, Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version lands at the Annenberg on October 1 for a can't-miss three-day run.

Called “one helluva rock’n’roller-coaster ride” by Vibe Magazine, this must-see show stars Toshi Reagon and an all-star cast of musicians and singers bringing Butler's novel to life through opera and gospel music.

Set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles of the future, Parable follows a young woman fleeing the violence in a fable that blends sci-fi with African-American spiritualism and deep insights on gender, race, and the future of human civilization.

Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version first showed to sold out audiences at Joe's Pub in New York. Now, the "in-progress" production plays for Philadelphia audiences as it continues to be refined for a final, fully staged run.

The Toshi Reagon-led production, kicks off the Annenberg Center Live's African Roots, American Voices project, which is a multi-year journey that celebrates the African diaspora’s unique contributions to American culture.

Each year will hone in on a different musical genre, exploring its roots and cultural impact through concerts, theater and dance. This year, the African Roots, American Voices programs will focus on jazz and features a stellar selection of shows, including Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Urban Bush Women, Dianne Reeves, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton and many other must-see talents.