In a darkened theater, Blanch Broccoli walks down the aisle alerting the audience that something is amiss in the Planted Kingdom. The onions are staging a revolt. We next encounter Mrs. Brown, a reporter for the Associated Plants News Network, who promises to get to the bottom of the problem. So begins the Flint Youth Theatre’s hosting of the Healthy Comedy, “Onion Revolt!” at the Bower Theatre in Flint, Michigan on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Semaj Brown, writer and director, presents this one woman show with musical accompaniment and composition by her husband, Board Certified Family Physician, James Brown, MD.

What a wonderful way to remind people (referred to as the two- footed) to eat healthy foods. This was better than taking a spoon full of sugar with medicine. Semaj Brown embodies 14 different characters as she goes on a one woman quest to bring the eating of vegetables to center stage. We travel with the prim reporter Mrs. Brown down into the garden, and around the garden, and under the garden to find out the onions’ complaint. On our way, we meet many saucy characters. There is the Farmer, who warns not to go any farther less we return as compost. There is a GVS, Gangster Vegetable Smuggler, who traffics vegetables through the underground because “there’s fast food all around.” We hear the sad sorrowful story of Miss Potato Chip, who had started out as a robust potato, but has now become a shell of her old self, devoid of nutrients.

“A series of imaginative characters with distinct voices parade up and down the stage with their message flowing: Vegetables are good, not just good for you! As she dances across the stage, Semaj personifies Vaudeville Squash, Spaghetti Squasher Rocker (who actually performs a rock concert), and Lentil Lady Leguma, Queen of the Beans, and Ms. Salad Savoy, a Hip Plot Cabbage and others. Semaj brings these characters to life to the rapt amazement of the audience.

Children were delighted with the catchy phrases, the silly movements, the alliterative language and the rhymes that Semaj presented with a background of red, yellow, green and orange lights, and an animated set design by artist, Amanda Hyde. With a change of a hat, or the placement of her body, and especially with the cadence of her voice, Semaj created characters who actually engaged in bright snappy dialogue with one another!”

Retired, Award Winning Language Arts Educator Darolyn P.W. Brown

Mrs. Brown does get to the bottom of the problem as promised. The onions are revolting because they demand to be eaten for the health of the people, and for their desire of a second life. It seems, after ingestion, the vegetables go on to live through the two Footed people. Their battle cry is R.O.C: Right of Consumption. They are tired of being cast aside as “second class seasoning, and relegated to side dishes.” They are full-fledged vegetables who demand the distinction of entrée. This show entertains on many different levels. It is informative and insightful, as well as funny and factual. Instead of constantly bombarding people with eat healthy mantras; this little show delivers that same message in a comedic delightful way. The melodic flow of the words and the choreographed blocking of the characters combine to make a lasting impression of poetry. In reflecting on the show at the afterglow, Broadside Press scholar and poet, Kaleema Sumareh Remarked, “It reminds me of the time I took my two sons to see the Lion King on Broadway. It elicits the same feeling of awe.”

When I asked Semaj, where did the idea come from to personify vegetables in this spectacular manner, she replied: “Well, it began on the radio. We had a variety show called the Dr. James Brown Freedom From Fat Radio Broadcast on Cumulus. There was a segment called “What’s for Dinner Mrs. Brown? The character was spontaneously born on the air. The Story Cookbook, Feasts and Fables from the Planted Kingdom and lyrical musical CD by Semaj Brown followed available on and as mp3 down loads on

James Brown, MD and Semaj Brown are cofounders of Health Collectors LLC. The Planted Kingdom Project, a branch of Health Collectors combines Art and Science to foster healthy lifestyle change. The debut of Onion Revolt! was produced by James Brown, MD PLC. The Onion Revolt show affords excellent sponsorship and fundraising opportunities as the Browns prepare to take their creative message nationally. Pierians, Flint Chapter; St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center; The Links, Incorporated- Flint Area Chapter; State of Michigan Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. all participated in fundraising opportunities as Fundraising Associates.

To contact the Browns for further information about upcoming dates or fundraising opportunities call 810 733 5501 or email The Browns invite you to visit their Face book page www.facebook/ for exciting news and helpful information.

Darolyn Brown