Review: Big J: A New Legacy
Reviewed by Nadia Freeman
Photo credit: Philip Merry
Jacob Dombroski is all heart in his performance of Big J A New Legacy. It is clear that he relives the feelings of every story he shares. This vulnerability is most evident during his dance pieces. From krump to graceful, emotive sections, his actions are deliberate. He can switch from raw power and frustration to smooth and elegant movement that, combined with a perfect synergy of visuals, lighting and song selection, pull the audience into the shifting moods of the show.
The piece is a scrapbook of vignette’s from Jacob’s life that gives the audience insight into Jacob’s experience of the world, from the love of family to discrimination and prejudice and the excitement of new opportunities. Jacob represents the unheard voice of many, and attending this show is a reminder of what the empowering ability of the arts can be for minorities.
It felt like Jacob was bringing us all in to feel like one of the family with the narration starting with home videos of Jacob as a child. Framed with the incredible set design of a hovering television screen and Jacob’s back to the audience as though we are all watching the home movies together. This wonderful method of connecting us, the audience, to the storytelling is maintained throughout the show in conversation and to the final song at the end.
Credit must be given to the production team for their combined efforts in delivering an excellent piece of theatre. I look forward to future works from Jacob and Everybody Cool Lives Here.