Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


This new play by J. Nicole Brooks draws on the real story of female rebels in Liberia during its recent civil war. Colonel "Black Diamond" (an electrifying Alana Arenas) leads her warriors not just against the repressive government but also men on either side of the struggle who abuse women, while an idealistic African-American journalist working for the BBC tries to capture the women's stories. Directed by Brooks and David Catlin with a gutsy physicality removed from Lookingglass's usual pretty tableaux, it's a piece that feels truly dangerous in all the ways that matter. First-time dramatist Brooks delivers snippets of Liberia's dense history with deft humor; the story focuses on the journalist at the expense of the women, but the playwright and the company deserve credit for tackling a big, messy subject with compassion and panache. a Through 5/20: Thu 6:30 PM, Fri 7 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665, $20-$50.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Liz Lauren.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →