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Georgetown Features First-Ever Go-Go Musical

November 7, 2016 – The first ever go-go musical, part of the Department of Performing Arts 2016-2017 season, runs Nov. 3-12 in the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre.

In a riff on nanny storylines of musicals such as The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, the show, Wind Me Up, Maria, is about a D.C. native and a rising senior at Georgetown who takes a summer position as a live-in tutor. She ends up with a Washington family and teaches the children about go-go music.

Myiah Smith (SFS’20) of Northeast Washington, D.C., plays “Maria Anacostia,” the star of the show.

Acclaimed playwright-director Natsu Onoda Power, a Georgetown associate professor of performing arts, and Charles “Shorty Corleone” Garris, lead singer for the D.C.’s premier go-go band Rare Essence, co-created the musical – involving collaborations both inside and outside the university."

“I’ve been wanting to do a go-go musical for a while,” explains, Onoda Power, also artistic director of the university’s Davis Performing Arts Center. “This musical has a narrative much like musicals such as The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, in which an outsider comes into a family and improves their lives.”

Garris, also an educator, runs a children’s group called Capital Kidds that will be part of the musical, co-produced by Georgetown’s Theater and Performance Studies ProgramMask and Bauble and the Black Theatre Ensemble. 

“It’s kind of a personal story,” Onoda Power says of how the go-go musical came to be.

Long before they were married, her husband, chef Tom Power, opened a restaurant in a hotel downtown that rented its banquet halls to go-go shows.
He began listening to the music and many years later shared it with his future bride, who fell in love with him and go-go at the same time.

Chuck Brown, the “Godfather of Go-Go” who died in 2012, played at their 2008 wedding.

“When I first attended his shows, I was so struck by how theatrical they were, and I realized it was exactly the kind of theater I wanted to make,” Onoda Power says. “It was nonstop and every new thing was more energetic and better than the last.”

The go-go musical and the other productions this year all follow the theme of “Discover and Celebrate."