May 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

photos courtesy of Jim West

Hard to believe it's been 13 years since the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit first produced Crossing 8 Mile, the Detroit-ified version of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors that garnered global attention for its stylish execution, keen social commentary and appeal to just about anyone, of any age, from any place.

Over the years, Crossing 8 Mile has been performed in England, Singapore, Denmark and Senegal, telling the story of Detroit’s open wounds caused by the rift between city-dwellers and suburbanites. Love for your fellowman, racial tolerance and maintaining general open-mindedness and patience are, after all, universal themes the world needs more and more of everyday.

Mashing up aspects of 16th century Italian Commedia Dell'Arte with a 20th century hip-hop aesthetic is something to see. And see it you can, at the Detroit Film Theatre. Crossing 8 Mile opens Friday, May 8 and runs thru May 15.

In the words of Mosaic’s founder, Rick Sperling, “Crossing 8 Mile is the intricate and energetic tale of two sets of identical twins, separated as young boys by a volcanic eruption that erects an eight-mile-wide ominous crater dividing their city. Each set grows up in distinctly different circumstances; one set in a comfortable suburban setting and the other set in the hard-scrabble city. After one set of twins bravely treks across 8 mile, hilarity ensues when they unknowingly reunite with the other. A fast-paced, witty romp of mistaken identity, Crossing 8 Mile interweaves classic slapstick comedy with shrewd commentary on suburban versus urban relations.”