An award winning theatrical mix of storytelling, redemption and comedy.

Basic Training is the true story of Kahlil Ashanti's hilarious experience as a member of a military entertainment troupe called Tops In Blue. As Ashanti begins a new life in the U.S. Air Force, a shocking revelation forces his attention home to face the violently abusive childhood he was trying to leave behind. Twenty three unforgettable characters guide you through this incredible true tale of survival and forgiveness in the face of domestic violence and hatred, all experienced through Ashanti's rapid-fire physical talent and comedy. Total Running Time: 60 mins. Not suitable for children under 14.

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New York Times Critics Pick

Off Broadway at Barrow St Theatre

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Awarded to the top 5% of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe

Several sold-out seasons in Edinburgh

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Nominated for Distinguished Performance

The only Tony Awards season accolades curated by audience members

Upcoming Shows

Date City Venue Tickets
January 28, 2017 San Antonio, TX Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Buy Tickets


Proctors Theatre, Schenectady NY

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'His quality of humanity sets him apart from other mechanical, do-anything-for-a-laugh comedians. A versatile dynamo...this confident magnetism will clearly work in film when he makes his inevitable motion picture debut.'

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'At points he moved me from tears to laughter in seconds. There is no flaw in this show. Not one. Go.' @broadwaybaby

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'You'll probably read a few reviews that carry the line: "If you only see one show, make sure it's this one." Some of them are justified, others not. So how do you justify giving a show five stars? For a start, if it's a solo show like this one, then the actor has to give, what you believe, to be their quintessential performance: flawless, dynamic, utterly captivating, life-affirming; the ability to leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, emotional, and with sympathy for their character. Fringe First-winning actor Kahlil Ashanti does all that. And more. The biggest surprise, the real crux of this story, though, doesn't fully reveal itself until the very end, by which time you'll probably be on your feet giving Ashanti a standing ovation.'

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'Amid the hype fuelled blast of any arts festival comes at least a dozen wheezing promises that here, at last, is The Next Big Thing. In the case of the unlawfully gifted Kahlil Ashanti, the promise happens, on this occasion, to be completely, marvellously true. This show is killer. His gift for dead-right mimicry is comparable to Eddie Murphy; his talent for seamless, feel-good melancholy brings Robin Williams to mind and his sheer X Quotient evoked, for this glitz-happy reviewer at least, the adorable chops of Bernadette Peters. The man's a star.'

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'A formidable tale about racism, relationships and reconciliation, Kahlil Ashanti is a terrific, versatile actor.'

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte NC