Thursday, March 23, 2017


WHERE: Centerstage, 700 N. Calvert St., Baltimore

A Musical Homage to a Soulful Legend

This powerful one-man show is based on the life of ’70s soul singer and composer Donny Hathaway, perhaps best known for his duets with Roberta Flack. Twisted Melodies is an immersive and crushing play about the brilliant musician’s compelling inner struggle. 

Torn between the muses that inspire him and the mental illness that torments him, Hathaway evaluates the choices in his life in a gripping performance by Kelvin Roston, Jr.

For more information, including the Content Advisory, visit our show page.

A Conversation with the Creator

From the start, I had imagined Donny's last day, last hours, on earth; but I hadn't really focused on mental issues. I followed his career and family and his music and all that, but his mental health wasn't that big a part. And, you know, there's such a taboo around mental illness in America—in Black America, even more so. I guess I was worried or afraid about going into that. But we dove in, and the show and that time with Donny—in his mind and his spirit—really became a safe space for the audience, and me. A place for exploring all the problems and fears and images, and how it actually became part of him and his music, even of his genius. Read more.

Hear the Music!

Twisted Melodies tells the story of soul legend Donny Hathaway, and throughout this show, actor Kelvin Roston performs a number of Donny Hathaway’s most beloved melodies. Please enjoy listening to this Spotify playlist of the songs featured in the production. Highlights include “The Ghetto,” “A Song for You,” and “She is My Lady.”  Check out our Spotify playlist.

Can you Complete the Donny Hathaway Lyric?

Check out our Donny Hathaway quiz—inspired by Twisted Melodies—and test your lyrical knowledge! Take the quiz.

Kelvin Roston, Jr.

Kelvin is an actor/singer/musician from St. Louis, MO based in Chicago, IL. He is also the playwright of Twisted Melodies, which began its journey 10 years ago in St. Louis as a play called Psychology of a Genius, an imagination of the last day of Donny Hathaway.  

After moving to Chicago and becoming an Artistic Associate of Congo Square Theatre Company, he adapted the piece into Twisted Melodies, taking a closer look at mental illness through the eyes of Donny Hathaway. The show has enjoyed two runs in Chicago directed by Congo Square’s Sam Roberson, and one in St. Louis directed by The Black Rep’s Ron Himes. Kelvin is proud to premiere this new version, here at Baltimore Center Stage, directed by Congo Square’s Derrick Sanders. As an actor, Kelvin has performed at theaters nationally and internationally, as well as appearing on television and in film.


Our first play in the Third Space: That Face is a darkly funny British play about a seriously dysfunctional family hurtling toward collapse. Read more.