A review of Kira Powel’s show “Caught in the Mix” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
I loved “Caught in the Mix.” Kira Powell is a gifted storyteller, funny, authentic and as she walks us through her complicated childhood you cannot help but love her.
Kira is the daughter of an African American father and an Ecuadorian mother, who apparently had no idea her husband was Black until after they were married. She came from Ecuador and he moved them to a very Black neighbourhood in Boston. The result of all this confusion was that Kira and her brother were told by her very Ecuadorian mother that Black was bad and white was good.
However, it took Kira years to discover who she really was. To stop straightening her hair, to acknowledge her blackness. Yet, this is not an easy story for one woman to tell. To admit to the word that she struggled with her own identity, she rejected it, and her Black family. Growing up in a mixed-race household, with a mother who grew up in Ecuador in a culture where brownness is graded and judged. The whiter you were in her neighborhood, the better. Now her mother understands how wrong that was.
Time and life changed us all and Kira’s story is a brilliant, shinning contemplation of that. She fills her story with deep soul searching, a lot of humour, complex reasoning and reflection and, ultimately, a joyful sense of gratitude.
Embracing her beautiful mixed heritage, her phenomenal fro, her Latina Afroness has taken her a while. But, she has emerged from her flat-ironed cocoon as a gorgeous curly moca woman. Brave enough to share her stories of colored contacts, white barbies and disowned Black sisters, understanding herself and forgiving everything as she becomes Kira.
I loved this show, as I believe I have already said…but it’s worth repeating. Kira Powell is a warrior. She owns the stage as she owns her story. As she succeeds in her own uniqueness, the world becomes a better place. Yet, don’t we all need ‘better’ right now?
Kira Powell’s “Caught In The Mix” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
August 8 – 29