Music, genius and ‘Twisted Melodies’

Black Rep welcomes STL native Kelvin Roston Jr. April 20-May 1

Kelvin Roston, Jr., as Donny Hathaway in "Twisted Melodies." (Photo: Sam Roberson)
Kelvin Roston Jr. as Donny Hathaway in “Twisted Melodies.” (Photo: Sam Roberson)

Soul singer Donny Hathaway was a musical genius, best remembered for his chart-topping collaborations with Roberta Flack. He was also a man lost in space and time, battling schizophrenia and trying to come to terms with — everything.

In “Twisted Melodies,” actor, playwright and St. Louis native Kelvin Roston Jr. explores the life and legacy of this deeply troubled talent. The show, presented by The Black Rep, opens at Edison Theatre Wednesday, April 20, and runs through May 1.

“I wrote this show to showcase some of the genius of Donny Hathaway, but also to shed light on a subject that we have held as taboo: mental illness,” Roston said. “I want us to understand that mentally ill people are still just that: people. I want those suffering with mental illness to know you are not alone.”

Ron Himes, founding director of The Black Rep and Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, added, “We are so very excited to have Kelvin bring his award-winning show to The Black Rep.” He noted that Roston and “Twisted Melodies” have won honors around the nation, including two Black Theatre Alliance Awards and three Black Excellence Awards.

“It’s always good to have former interns and young actors return home,” Himes said.

Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinkcrodt Center, 6465 Forsyth Blvd. For tickets and show times, visit

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