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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage review

‘Emergency’ delves deep with a chorus of characters

“Emergency” is a fascinating performance hybrid that combines elements of storytelling, singing, poetry, preaching, and stand-up comedy with a charming theatricality.

In a whirlwind 75 minutes at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, writer and performer Daniel Beaty offers more than a dozen distinctly different characters, who, even in their briefest appearances, are recognizable and real. Even though he works with African-American stereotypes — a grandma, a swishy queen, a preteen with attitude, her earnest boyfriend who sings with the Harlem Boys Choir, and many others — Beaty burrows into their hearts, and ours, with his direct, unadorned honesty.

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