Birthright | ETA Creative Arts Foundation | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Birthright Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 8 2011

Vaun Monroe's cinematic directing style pairs well with Jackie Alexander's brassy, made-for-TV-esque drama about Rev. Etienne, an African-American preacher struggling to balance the needs of his congregation, wife, and unemployed younger brother in post-Katrina New Orleans. Alexander's approach to character is clinical and sociological: every inner demon has a clear outer cause. Still, Monroe's outstanding cast keep things from getting trite. Dion Strowhorn Sr. presents a powerful portrait of Etienne as a man with flaws, complexities, and secrets, striving to do the right thing; Christina Harper projects a captivating, slow-boiling rage as a troubled family friend. --Keith Griffith

Price: $10-$30

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