Kimberly Akimbo

Marita McKee, Kayci Rose, Martin Gomez Sastre, Andrés Umaña – 2023 Beyond Workshop Students

 By: Kayci Rose

Kimberly Akimbo was an extremely well-performed & well-written show. Centered on 16-year-old Kimberly, born with a disease that causes rapid-aging, the musical’s main message was to live life without letting anything or anyone hold you back. It also implored it’s audience to be unapologetically authentic; the universe will always send people who love you just as you are so don’t try to be someone else. These two main messages touched my soul and brought back a sense of urgency into my life.

 There’s a line Kimberly has in one of her songs that stuck with me, “Getting older is my affliction but getting older is their cure.” Kimberly is referring to her teenage peers when she says this and it catapulted me right back to being 16. I took a lot of things for granted then because I was so young and there was so much life ahead of me to figure everything out. Funny enough, everyone said that same phrase back to me when I turned 25 and I felt time was running out. I may not have a disease like Kimberly that messes with my life expectancy but that doesn’t mean I should hold off on doing all the big things I want to do because there’s time. Nothing is guaranteed and when I go, I want to make sure I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do up to that date. I want to be able to go knowing that I reached my equivalent of Disney Land and Graceland (The Places Kimberly always wanted to see and DOES). 

This show has pushed me to do all the things that scare me. I am daring to write again, produce again, direct for the first time, dance anywhere and everywhere, travel, meet new people, and be me unapologetically. I am daring to rest when my body needs it and push myself when my mind is afraid. I am living in the now like Kimberly did, like she had no choice to.  Thank you for the tickets RL and for reminding us all to dare to go beyond.

More Words from our Theater Family!

On April 4th, 2023 40 artists and members of the  RL community had the opportunity to see Kimberly Akimbo on Broadway thanks to RL’s partnership with Harriet Tubman Effect Institute.


“Theater to me is about community.   The community that is built on stage by the actors, designers and technicians who create a world that they bring to the community of friends in the audience sharing an experience that will never be the exact same again.” Tauren Hagans 

“I had a wonderful time at KIMBERLY AKIMBO.  I thought the show was smart and cleverly executed. The panoply of  score, lyrics and harmonies were wonderfully surprising: a musical smorgasbord to my ears. My favorite aspect of the show was the hypnotizing chemistry between the two Leading Actors: Victoria Clark and Justin Cooley.”  Richard E. Waits

“As a bigger artist it was wonderful to see that the cast included a plus sized woman, Bonnie Milligan, who absolutely killed it. She was so funny and so talented and I loved every second she was onstage! I was also so happy to hear that this was some of the younger cast members’ Broadway debut. That was so special and so inspiring because I could almost feel what it would be like to be in their shoes. It also gave some much needed perspective on life and growing up. We go through our lives, looking ahead and telling ourselves that things are going to be better in the future, but the future is not really guaranteed, especially for someone like Kimberly. It perfectly illustrates how important it is to not sweat the little things that don’t matter that much, make the best out of any situation we find ourselves in, and live life to the fullest. Thank you so much for the tickets.” Samantha Gabrielle Thompson

“Although I am not working in theater currently, the power of the arts never ceases to leave me speechless. In two and a half hours, I laughed, I cried, I scratched my head, and I learned something about myself as I went on this journey with Kimberly Akimbo as she tried to find her place in this world and find her own happiness. We never know the struggles people are dealing with, and it is so easy to make assumptions based on perception. However, underneath flesh, there is a human being struggling to survive in an unforgiving world and make the most of it. When you see someone, try to really see them and understand them and empathize with them rather than judging them. And remember to live each day to its fullest.” Mathew Oster

“Most shows on Broadway are either light and comedic or serious and dramatic and Kimberly AKimbo did a beautiful job of merging both. The marriage between a topic about an illness, family issues that can feel somewhat universal, on top of the general struggles of adolescence and the light hearted, comedic nature of the show and how we as humans deal with things was a masterclass in writing for Broadway musicals. There’s a way we can talk about more serious topics and be in conversation with them but also capture the human condition to its fullest extent, which is that humans use humor to cope with the obstacles in life: there is no joy without suffering and there is no suffering without joy. And the way you could leave a show about this young person’s ultimate demise feeling good and somewhat hopeful speaks volumes to how it was executed. Victoria Clark’s performance of Kimberly was so embodied and pure, she captured the nature of a teenage girl so well, I was easily able to suspend my disbelief and also, the reality of needing to parent your own parents and grow up at an early age, regardless of how she looked all really hit home for me. It was also inspiring to witness people younger than me make their Broadway Debuts alongside those who are Broadway veterans and gives me hope to grace that kind of stage someday.”  Amanda Martinez

“Adorable concept and storyline. As somebody who started their journey with the arts later in life, it was enjoyable to see such young artists getting opportunities and even looking “well seasoned”/ mature while on stage. Bonnie Milligan (who I get to call a friend) is a STAR- the voice and the comedy.” Ricardo A. Zayas

“I was so touched by this show. Honestly I walked in not knowing much about the show but quickly picked up what it was about and I thought “ wow that’s an interesting choice for a show”.  I laughed so much and it was such a good experience about how truly beautiful and precious life really is.  We tend to get lost in ourselves, our wants, our goals and dreams that we forget to live in the present moment. At least for me I tend to forget that my parents are also getting older and it’s their first time there as well.  Their experiencing life as well and just sharing and experiencing life with them is a treasure in itself because you just never really know if that will be the last moment you’ll have with them. I recently lost my great grandma and I wish I would’ve spent a bit more time with her and asked her questions about her youth. About her life.  I still have my grandma and grandpa so I will do what I didn’t do with my great grandma with them. So I have no regrets later.  Thank you once again to RL for yet another amazing life lesson experience provided by the outstanding art of theater  Los quiero mucho!” Jessenia Vargas

“I was so deeply touched by this musical! I came in not knowing what to expect or thinking it was going to be a sad drama and instead it was extremely funny. Every single cast member was an amazing singer and very very funny! I was entertained, I laughed and cried and then cried some more. I am so grateful to RL for making sure all of us had this experience. Gracias!” Monica Delgado

 “Crear conciencia sobre las condiciones que como son un porcentaje tan pequeño, la gente no presta atención. Pero a través de un musical es un buen medio de informar sobre la realidad.” Marta Lucia

This theater experience was possible thanks to our partnership with The Harriet Tubman Effect Institute. 

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