The Drum Struck cast, with help from the crowd, pounds out rhythms.
Drum Cafe in Johannesburg, ranges in content and costume from the primitive to the modern. It touches upon Zulu rhythms, the ancient song and dance of the bushmen, traditional and popular song, Zulu dance from the gold mines and acts that call for more song and the rhythms of assorted drums joined by other African instruments.
The cast of 11 women and men, including the ringer who appears to be a reticent fellow plucked from the audience before engaging in a duel of drummers, is characterized not only by its instrumental talent but also by its lively dancing and sweet song. The interplay between cast and audience is at its most involving when mimed, good-humored instruction gives theatergoers a chance to pound out rhythms with the pros.
Drum Struck may not be subtle, but the beats that are its soul reaffirm the appealing power of the drum, resounding across time and cultures.