Friday, January 22, 2021

EUR Review: Javon Johnson’s ‘STILL’ – A Captivating Lesson in Blackness

Javon Johnson
Javon Johnson – Photo by Jeff Lorch

*This past week I had the pleasure of watching “Still,” a spoken-word piece starring Javon Johnson and filmed by Playhouse Live.

Still can best be described as a novella brought to life as Javon elegantly shares a number of personal stories from his perspective as a Black man with topics ranging from manhood, toxic masculinity, the American justice system, gentrification, hope and despair, and so on.

Standing in the middle of a stage looking out upon empty auditorium seats, Javon undauntedly showcases his raw talent; effortlessly bringing the same emotion and energy that is desired from a performer if surrounded by a full audience. Javon is truly captivating in his cadence and narrative topics.

If asked to choose which topics stood out most to me, I would be hard-pressed to do so. The sequence “cuz he’s black, a lesson in proper sentence construction, and on healthy masculinity” really resonated.  The latter of which was especially enthralling as Javon poetically explained how the world forces Black men to be a in constant state of war and peace.

As a Black man, I could relate to this and his descriptions of the many conflicts he faced in his adolescent years. Here is a truly engaging storyteller.  Javon paints a picture that brings to mind many of my own experiences when individuals would attempt to test me. It is encouraging to hear someone else share their experiences and struggles with balancing blackness in masculinity.

Still is a fascinating piece of art well worth taking the time to watch it. Javon Johnson’s “Still” performance can be rented through PlayhouseLive for $19.99 and is available through November 1, 2020.  After the initial purchase, Stillcan be watched on any of the PlayhouseLive apps including Apple OS, Android OS, Roku, FireTV and more. Closed captioning will be available in both English and Spanish. 

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Javon Johnson
Javon Johnson – Photo by Jeff Lorch

About PlayhouseLive
PlayhouseLive is a first-of-its-kind digital streaming platform for nonprofit theaters. Powered by Pasadena Playhouse, PlayhouseLive’s “theater on demand” hosts fully realized cinema-quality productions filmed in high definition on stage specifically for the digital platform. It takes online theatrical performances beyond Zoom readings and interpretations to full scale productions for viewers around the world to enjoy. Distribution channels include a standalone website, iPhone and Android apps, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Chromecast, and AirPlay, among others.

In addition to theater on demand, PlayhouseLive programming will include staged readings, and cabarets, as well as original series, documentaries, and theater classes. It is a home for a wide array of theatrical voices through new and revisited work.  Additional information about PlayhouseLive and its programming, including new announcements and pricing specials, are available at www.playhouselive.org

EURweb.com, Everything Urban & Radioscope (formerly The Electronic Urban Report) Covering the Culture since 1997.

David Anthony EURweb 20201006_231339
David Anthony is new on the EURweb team. Covering the culture since 1997. Contact David: [email protected]

David Anthony is a new graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.  A self-designated history buff and random fact finder, David could rattle your ear for hours with information. Born and raised in the City of Angels he is a huge fan of the city’s culture and hometown NBA team, the L.A. Clippers. A future attorney, businessman, and civil servant, he hopes to be an impactful individual in life.  Contact David: [email protected]

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