The Allure of Thug Life made its world premiere at the 2023 Hollywood Fringe Festival where it won several awards including Best Musical, the Ella Turenne Award, the Pick of The Fringe, and the Encore Producer Award. This hip-hopsical was hailed a “joyous one-woman show full of original and funny hip-hop compositions and a unique portrayal of being a special kind of high-school outcast” by Los Angeles Magazine and was named one of the “10 promising shows to check out” by Los Angeles Times.
Through Mélia’s point of view woven with perspectives from her Black family that has “made it,” the show explores themes of bullying, violence, economic inequality, class, colorism, pride, perseverance, self-love, and respect. It then made its way to The Marsh Berkeley in October 2023 where The Allure of Thug Life received critical acclaim. The SF Theater Blog noted, “Mélia Mills’ The Allure of Thug Life is the most refreshing new show we’ve seen in a long while. She’s a classy performer coming into theater through a brand-new door. And a filled-up audience tells you it’s working.” Theatrius hailed this solo show as filled with “delightful pride and charm,” calling Mills “a force of nature, exposing her fragility as a young Black girl and demonstrating her considerable talents,” adding, “she spins comic gold from teen-age traumas.”
The Allure of Thug Life written and performed by actress/writer/comedian/rapper Mélia Mills and Produced by Soaring Solo Studios. In this hip-hopsical comedy, Oakland native Mills is an upper-middle class teen who wants to be a gangster rapper. Audiences find Mills as a 15-year-old who just wants to fit in at her new high school but is bullied regularly. Struggling to find her own voice, Mills discovers her talent as a rapper and begins straddling the fence between the good life and thug life. In a journey from riches to rags, she encounters bullets, bullying, boyfriends, in a riveting tale of discovering one’s authentic self and the lengths one will go to own it.
SPECIAL NOTE: BFF 2023 Binge Fringe Festival of Free Theatre is presented through generous grants from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission, and Playhouse PALS.
Questions? Contact the Santa Monica Playhouse at 1-310-394-9779 x1 or theatre@SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.
“THE ALLURE OF THUG LIFE” in the BINGE FRINGE FESTIVAL!
Location:Santa Monica Playhouse
Santa Monica Playhouse
1211 4th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401