Crumbs From the Table of Joy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Crumbs From the Table of Joy


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Set in 1950 Brooklyn, Lynn Nottage's vibrant comedy sets a coming-of-age story against a web of racial, sexual, and political conflicts. It tells of two African-American teenagers whose recently widowed father is torn between born-again Christian morals and attraction to his sister-in-law, a hard-drinking Harlemite who preaches communism and feminism as the salvation of blacks. The tension escalates when he marries a white German haunted by memories of World War II. Nottage's beautifully etched characters and crackling dialogue bristle under Chuck Smith's direction in perfectly modulated performances by John Steven Crowley as the father, Nambi E. Kelley and Bakesta King as his girls, Karen Janes Woditsch as his wife, and the charismatic Ella Joyce, reprising the role of the sister-in-law she created off-Broadway in 1995. Through 6/25: Tue-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800, $15-$35.

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