Kahlil Ashanti

Kahlil Ashanti


'Basic Training' is a true story of inspiration and survival which brings you on stage for the ride of a lifetime. A one man show that you should not miss. Now in development as a feature film! Management: The Katz Company NYC, Jeremy Katz


His biggest influences are Mel Blanc, Richard Pryor, Don Knotts and Eddie Murphy. He was raised in Landstuhl Germany, Yokohama Japan, Bay City Texas and Davenport Iowa. His hometown? Pick one.

Kahlil Ashanti began his career as a stand-up comedian when he was just fourteen years old. Born in Germany and raised in Japan, Texas and Iowa to a military family his traveling allowed plenty of material for his routine.
After joining the Air Force in 1992, Kahlil competed against more than 1500 contestants to receive the 'Roger' award, the highest honor given to an entertainer in the military. Kahlil was then invited to tour with an elite 28-member team of performers called TOPS IN BLUE. This led to several world tours which gave him the opportunity to perform as an actor, comedian, and dancer in over 27 foreign countries and 46 states for crowds in excess of 10,000 people, all before he turned 21!

In 2000, after performing for three years at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas as a magician, Kahlil moved to Los Angeles and began writing his one-man show BASIC TRAINING. Kahlil trained extensively in the Alexander Technique under Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Character Technique under Jeffrey Tambor. He also studies voice with Bruce Eckstut.

Since April 2004 the show has toured extensively and has earned rave reviews from Australia, Dubai, Canada and the UK, winning an acclaimed Fringe First Award in Edinburgh.
Basic Training is due to hit New York later this year and is currently in development as a feature film.


Edinburgh Scotland Audience Testimonials

Written By: various fans

Totally Amazing Show 20 Aug 2005
reviewer: Matthew Wolpert, England

This is the best thing that we have seen at the fringe, in fact it is one of the best theatre/comedy productions we have ever seen. This man has so much talent it just oozes out of him and an astounding story to tell; if you see anything at the fringe see this - do not miss this! We would like to see it again in the next few days. We very much hope this show is coming to London because we want to take our family and friends to see it. If there are any awards going he should win them - Kahlil, if you read this, we left the theatre in awe. Love Matthew and Tina Wolpert.

  Tour de Air Force 16 Aug 2005
reviewer: Sean Davis, USA

This ranks 3rd of the 63 acts I have seen so far. Rankings and similarly short reviews of all the shows I have seen can be found at http://wwwcsif.cs.ucdavis.edu/~davis/fringe/Reviews.htmA one-man autobiography of a Black recruit who finds his niche as entertainer and truck loader in the U.S. Air Force Top Blues traveling troupe. Kahlil Ashanti assumes the characters of a wide variety of people in his life. He nails them all; from an abusive stepfather, to a loud and fast talking drill sergeant, to an effeminate singer. His sincerity is apparent, particularly when describing his Make-A-Wish conversation with a terminal 7-year old girl. (Aug 15)

  Go See This! 07 Aug 2005
reviewer: Lynne, United Kingdom

Great storyteller who draws you into the story and really makes you believe you are there with him. His ability to swap seamlessly between different characters keeps you captivated through the whole show and you can’t help being a little disappointed when it ends! I would definitely recommend this show to anyone who likes a good laugh – Buy tickets now though as when word of mouth does it’s job I don’t think there will be many going spare 

Edinburgh Scotland Audience Testimonials

Written By: various fans

Very entertaining 26 Aug 2005
reviewer: Clive Long, England

High energy, but also "small" and moving. Kahlil has great range and tackles racism and homophobia in a hilarious but not "derogatory" manner. His characters come to life immediately and you feel this all springs from somewhere "real" for him. Recommended.

  kahilil - a rising star 25 Aug 2005
reviewer: Faye , UK

Fabulous. This enspiring actor told the of basic training with his heart on his sleve, the amount of passsion and energy this actor has is amazing. it was worth the journy to the fringe just for this. One of the best peices oof origional theatre I have seen.for me the best new show at the fringe. thanyou for this fabulous show kahlil!

  basically... a hit 25 Aug 2005
reviewer: jonathan, united kingdom

First of all, the ability of the man is incredible. Both the material and the delivery of that material is top notch. Kahlil commands your attention like the drill seargeant character and makes you love this show through the sheer force of his will. By the end you know he must be exshausted, as will you be. Minor grumbes can only be reserved for the tiny venue, where the sound of other shows will momentarily intrude. But that's not his fault! All in all, a great show.

  I cried 24 Aug 2005
reviewer: Liz Davies, UK

I laughed a lot too, but the meeting of father and son had me in tears. How Khalil managed to perfectly convey both characters, and the different emotions they were feeling, by standing with his right arm thrust out, and merely adjusting his left arm and facial muscles, was mesmerising.

  Wow! 21 Aug 2005
reviewer: melanie , UK

This is the must see show of 2005. Kahlil is superb, brilliant. We were speechless. I've been to drama school (many years' ago) but I learned so much more from seeing his performance. He deserves to be seen all over the country. If I'd had more time I'd have seen the show again in Edinburgh.


Basic Training on Broadway-coming soon!
Kahlil can also be seen in theatres across North America in the Lion's Gate feature film 'Akeelah and the Bee' starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, written and directed by Doug Atchison. www.akeelahandthebee.com

Set List

Produced by Barry Josephson

Written by Kahlil Ashanti

The running time of the show is approximately 63 minutes.