By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 2 2013

For certain kinds of people, achieving the American dream has always been a stealth operation. Coming up during the Depression, for instance, my dad obscured his Ashkenazic roots by Latinizing his first name (Maurice, from Moishe), classicizing his middle name (Alexander, after Alexander the Great) and Teutonizing his surname (Adler, from, well, something that wasn't Adler). Others have had to resort to more extreme methods. Obviously, a name change alone wasn't going to give a Negro access to the good life in pre-Civil Rights Act America, though a high-yellow complexion and careful locution might. Too dark to pass? Then it was a good idea to be phenomenally talented and resourceful. Josephine Baker found stardom by flirting with scandal en Francais. Musicians like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, by inventing jazz. Actors like Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen, and Stepin Fetchit, by simultaneously playing to and humanizing ("subverting" is too strong a word) white society's standard catalog of black caricatures. Continue reading >>

Price: $25-$81

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