February is Black History Month, and what better way to kick things off than attending The M Ensemble Companys gospel musical Crownsat the Arsht Centers Carnival Studio Theater this Thursday? Church hats (or crowns) are the springboard for an exploration of history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young black woman who comes down South to stay with her grandmother after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. The musical is dominated by hats, in exquisite variety, used by characters to tell stories that highlight cultural significance and independent identities. The play is adapted by Regina Taylor, based on the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. Crownsshowcases rap, gospel music, and dance, and stars three-time Grammy-nominated and Tony Award-winning actress Melba Moore.
Feb. 3-5, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 6, 3 p.m., 2011