By Teresa Ugarte

The Kreativity Diversity Troupe’s end-of-semester show “Puzzles and Paradoxes” was a collection of 15 skits, poetry readings, musical performances and interpretive dance. Although some acts felt heavy-handed, the majority of the show was excellent.

The opening monologue “I’m Confused” was a clever take on a common response to someone coming out. The actors were confused, but about life, taxes, climate change and racism. It was mostly humorous with a few punches of solemnity – a good opener as the show held a similar tone throughout.

One of the show’s most interesting aspects was its openness about sex and sexuality. A ridiculous and hilarious short film was dedicated to exploring the ups and downs of self- pleasure, and several of the dances included not-so-subtle moves intended to simulate sex. Although the openness was jarring at first, it quickly became some of the show’s best punch lines and some of the most thought-provoking material.

There were some parts that were less enjoyable. A particularly heavy-handed skit about flash photography had me struggling to not roll my eyes. One interpretive dance scene seemed to be making a point about something, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what they were trying to say. Still, for the most part the show managed to avoid feeling like a high school theater showcase and instead had a more professional and self-aware vibe.

Even though the show dealt with heavy subject matter it managed to keep the tone light and not take itself too seriously, which was a bit of a relief. The songs that played between acts, which included “Breaking Free” from “High School Musical” and the “That’s So Raven” theme song, never failed to make the audience laugh or sing along. After some of the heavier acts it was a nice way to break the tension and cleanse the audience’s palate.

My favorite act by far was the closer, a skit about a black girl who discovers a family secret she doesn’t quite know how to deal with and is aided by her black girl magic fairy godmothers. There was singing, step performances and perfectly placed comedic moments. It was both touching and extraordinarily funny, especially the scenes with the extended family. It’s funny how everyone in the world seems to have the same two aunts, whose essences were captured perfectly in the skit.

The show was a great way to spend an hour and a half. I laughed enough to make up for the parts where I was confused, and ended up thinking a lot about some of the points that were raised. Even though the acts seemed a little unrelated, it somehow never felt disjointed or incohesive. All in all, I would go see it again, and I can’t wait for what Kreativity is producing next.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Kreativity Diversity Troupe’s Facebook page.

Teresa Ugarte is a freshman journalism and English major and can be reached at teugarte@terpmail.umd.edu.

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