Local playwright's musical traces music through the 'Generations'

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 05:43 PM.

Historic events often influenced selections, Smith said.

"You can hear how the music was real relevant and how the music started to evoke what was going on in black history," he said.

"In the 1960s, as the fire hoses were being turned on and the dogs were being released, you hear Aretha Franklin singing 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T.' Yeah, it was about a man, but it had hidden meaning.

"In the '70s you hear Earth Wind and Fire singing, 'We made it, but we have a ways to go.'

"In the '80s you had black-on-black crime, and you had Michael Jackson singing, 'I'm starting with the man in the mirror; I'm trying to make a change.'"

"Generations" runs Feb. 28 at the Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center, with a Feb. 1 sneak preview for the Democratic Black Caucus' Okaloosa County chapter.

Smith said response to sneak preview showcases has surpassed his expectations. He said he was gratified to see "Generations" had, as he hoped, touched audiences' emotions.

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