Tag Archives: Reuben Yabuku
Presented in 2004 at Paul Robeson Theatre and in 2005 and 2007 at Millennium Centre, Buku Productions Theatre Company’s production of “Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round” was written and directed by Artistic Director, Reuben Yabuku. The story line and a couple of songs in the show came pretty quickly to Reuben as an inspired piece of work.
The entire staging for the show was done fifteen years prior to the script being completed, because he couldn’t find the right songwriting partner to create the songs and music for the Gospel musical about the political career of Dr. Martin Luther King. When Reuben commissioned Patricia Grant of Inkster, Michigan to help write the songs, magic happened. Pat finished writing the needed songs in a couple of weeks and the birth of this stylized musical production, finally, was ready to be mounted and hit the stage. It’s become a perennial production for us.
“The Colored Museum” was one of the nation’s top plays in the 1980’s. The play, written by George C. Wolfe, is eleven exhibits of Black American life through the years. “The Colored Museum” was Buku Productions Theatre Company’s first production in 1990, and it was the sold-out hit a fledgling theatre company could only dream of having. With all thirty-six (36) shows at Detroit Repertory Theatre selling out completely, we were on our way.
In 2004, Buku Productions reprised the show with an all-new cast and packed them in again at Paul Robeson Theatre in Detroit.
“Moms Mabley The Naked Truth” began in 1999 as a pre-season co-production between Buku Productions Theatre Company and Detroit Repertory Theatre. The one-woman show, starring Linda Boston as “Moms,” was a complete 100% sold-out production. This revealing and hilarious look into the professional and personal life of Loretta Mary Aiken, better known as “Moms” Mabley, brought about side-splitting laughter as well as tears. Moms’ first cousin and 25 other members of her family attended a Detroit Rep performance of “The Naked Truth” and, thank goodness, they absolutely loved it! Most of the Aiken/Hall family members who attended that show are spotlighted in a group pic featured in our photo gallery below the video excerpts.
The premise is a supposition of “Moms’” reaction to how Black entertainment pioneers were being looked back on as buffoons in blackface instead of those courageous and oppressed performers who paved the way. Written and Directed by Buku’s Artistic Director, Reuben Yabuku, this popular play was performed again in 2001 at Millennium Centre, U of M/Flint (the week of “911”) and reprised again at Millennium Centre in 2002.