ZACH Theatre has brought The Ballad of Klook and Vinette to life and you need to see it! This gripping production is an emotional roller coaster that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love all over again as we see the trials and tribulations of giving it one last chance.
The Ballad of Klook and Vinette tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, down on their luck, as we learn about how they fell in love and ultimately how fate has a funny way of playing games with the lives of us mere mortals. With rough pasts between the two of them, together they took a shot at happiness. With book by Ché Walker with Music and Lyrics by Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lyefook, Director Dave Steakley has brought Klook and Vinette to ZACH to introduce Texas to what might become a new classic among blackbox theatre. I just hope somebody records a soundtrack album; audiences will be singing these songs for years to come.
Roderick Sanford and Chanel are absolutely perfect for these roles. Between the chemistry that these two bring to the stage and the vocal prowess they each command, having this show on the Kleburg stage at ZACH is intimate enough to let the show touch your soul from start to finish. You’d be hard-pressed to leave the show with dry eyes.
Sanford has one of the best voices you’ll hear in Austin — period. The emotion that he brings to the Klook pulls you in and makes your want to see him succeed. Klook comes from an all-too-relatable past, and he knows just what he’s up against in life, but their story gives you hope through the ups and downs. Chanel’s Vinette is a headstrong free spirit, about two decades behind Klook, with lofty aspirations in need of a little encouragement. We don’t learn much about her past, but we know what nags at her. Pair that with Chanel’s robust vocal expression and you’ve got the makings for a character that far too many women of color can relate to. Chanel works wonders with her character, not to be overshadowed by any means. The music in Klook and Vinette doesn’t push her vocal capabilities to challenging territory, which seems to have allowed her more room to focus on bringing Christa Oliver’s choreography to life.
This production brings a simple visual display to the story, making the most of every element on the set through the characters, allowing them to keep the focus on the actions of the actors, which could be a subtle nod to the fact that most of what we’re seeing is a flashback.
The Ballad of Klook and Vinette is on the Kleburg stage at ZACH Theatre until May 26, and tickets start at $25 on their website.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set unafraid to take on topics head on. He now resides in Austin, TX and continues to create content on a daily basis.