Universes, a Bronx-based performance group, mashes spoken-word with jazz, blues, and hip-hop in Slanguage
, which comes to Playhouse Square tonight. And if it doesn't quite sound the same as it did in 2001, when the work premiered, that's precisely the point, says troupe member Steven Sapp. "The piece is constantly shifting and moving," he says. The group got its start in the N.Y.C. open-mic scene, a huge influence on the touring production. And don't expect to just sit there and watch the action unfold onstage, says Sapp; viewers play a big part in the show. "We're constantly referring to the audience and talking to them," he says. "It's call-and-response. It's poetry. It's music. It's social commentary. We're really looking for a full theatrical experience." Showtime is at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theater, 1501 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $25 to $35; call 216-987-4400.
Fri., March 3, 8 p.m.