By Bob Evans
Original Review on KC Applauds
Regular Fringe entrant, Br. John again sings and performs to capacity crowds with his blend of biographical insights into legends of the R&B genre–this year’s treat–Marvin Gaye.
“If I Should Die Tonight” tells the back-story of Motown legend Marvin Gaye and his struggle with drugs, reality, pressures to succeed, and domestic insecurities that plagued his childhood and adult life. From the material presented by Br. John, a long history of physical abuse by Marvin’s father, a Pentecostal pastor included a steady stream of violence, beatings, bruises, criticisms, and the painful oft heard comments that his “father” was not really his father. Such continued comments by Marvin’s dad meant that Marvin’s dad questioned his wife’s virtue and the connection to Marvin.
The story also claims that Marvin’s pastoral father carried on countless affair with women but had the audacity to question the marital vows of Marvin’s mother. As such, Marvin felt lifelong insecurity because of his father, who eventually shot and killed him. Marvin, Br. John claims worked hard to sustain his success, carve out a name for himself, and reward his mother with a new house as his fame grew.