By EW Staff
Updated December 13, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

This scripted, choreographed appropriation of a ”real” ”live” ”poetry” ”slam,” adapted from the HBO series, sanitizes the street form just enough for Broadway, casting for optimal diversity and keeping sufficient grit to appease all but the most unforgiving buffs. A black man (Poetri) mixes rhymes with stand-up comedy to create unabashed crowd-pleasers; a Latin woman (Mayda Del Valle) alternately sings and shouts bilingual verses with a revolutionary’s fervor; a Jamaican-Asian lesbian (Staceyann Chin) applies halting patois to elegant street stories. Nine poets, uniformly talented, emerge from the underground to give the Great White Way an overdue splash of color only slightly duller for the journey.