What does it mean to reconcile the past and the present? Come to Pass is a new musical that explores how the principles that founded America failed and continue to fail women of color. The show features 18 original songs written by some of the top talent in Boston’s local hip-hop scene.
Come to Pass stars Brandie Blaze and Tashawn Taylor along with a roster of appearances by Amanda Shea, Dutch ReBelle, Moe Pope, Axestrumentals, Trap Beat Tranny and B Dolan. Everyone in the cast hails from Boston originally, except for Dolan who is based in Providence. The show is directed and produced by Todd Dahn, an experienced music producer known for his work with acts like STL GOLD. While the story concept belongs to Dahn– all of the characters, script, and songs were developed by the artists.
Set in the 1700s in a fictional farm town in Massachusetts, Blaze and Taylor co-star as siblings who recently lost their parents, which forces the pair out into the world. The show is about how the world perceives them, what tools they have to survive, and the community they find along the way.
For many in the cast, this show will be their first time appearing as both actors and musicians.
“I definitely never saw myself in a musical,” said Blaze, Boston’s trap feminist known for her larger-than-life rhymes and hilarious internet persona.
Although Blaze is a seasoned rapper, her role in Come to Pass challenged her to become a storyteller as well.
“I really had to learn to rap again–you can have a song that sounds good but it’s also got to take you forward in the narrative,” said Blaze. “It was very challenging but also really rewarding.”
Taylor, who plays Blaze’s younger brother, said he’s always wanted to be in theater spaces but struggled to find the right entry point. After over 10 years as a musician, he’s excited to tell a story that explores complex themes about Black masculinity in America.
“I wanted to use this as an opportunity to talk about the dynamic of a guy that is trying so hard to be an alpha male, tough guy kind of dude who falls flat on his face,” said Taylor.
Come to Pass provided Taylor with the chance to dive deep into his artistry and make a statement through character building and songwriting.
“One of the big reasons why I was interested in this show was because it wasn’t just about slavery and stuff like that,” said Taylor. “I wanted to not necessarily make the play about just that, but to write a character in a way where it was more about the actual journey of being unprepared while having so many expectations for yourself.”
“The tagline of the play is ‘what happened just keeps on happening.’ Our characters are going on this journey of self discovery and dealing with lots of obstacles that we deal with as Black people,” said Blaze, who’s personal mission is to celebrate people that identify as women and femmes through hip-hop.
By utilizing hip-hop and modern language, the play hopes to capture themes repeated throughout American history about identity and oppression.
“It’s a reflection of these things that keep happening to us generationally,” said Blaze, who named her character after her great-great-grandmother, Mirah. “It might have a different facade now than the 1700s, but we still deal with discrimination and prejudice. Now, it just has a new sheen to it.”
Blaze hopes this production shows people that artists can do anything as long as they “Think outside the box and dream [their] biggest dream.”
As a producer, Dahn worked with almost all of the cast before and couldn’t wait to get everyone in a room together for Come to Pass.
“After doing the amount of albums and singles I’ve done, it’s always interesting to see what you can push artists to do,” said Dahn, who is also new to the musical theater space.
“What new thoughts and deliveries can you get them to explore? Everyone here really took excitement in the fact that they were doing something new,” he said.
Dahn challenged each of the artists to write their own music from their perspective.
“It’s important that the words came from a perspective that’s honest. We want to make sure that we put honest things forward, something that could actually hit home with folks,” he said.
The story is set in Massachusetts to further engage local audiences about the oft-forgotten history of slavery in the North.
“The idea of Massachusetts always feels good on paper. With all the resources and so many things going on here, people are still hopelessly unprepared to actually take care of stuff or establish equity,” said Taylor. “When you actually live in Massachusetts, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.”
Although Dahn isn’t from Massachusetts, Blaze and Taylor were born in Dorchester and Cambridge, respectively.
“The South is such an easy target, right?” said Dahn. “People forget that there were enslaved people all through the North–it wasn’t just the South. These things happened all throughout the country.”
Come to Pass opens on Aug. 18, 2022 at The Rockwell in Somerville. Tickets are on sale now at www.cometopassthemusical.com.