Elmina's Kitchen | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Elmina's Kitchen

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Congo Square Theatre Company has mostly focused on African-American playwrights during its eight-year history, but it's gone international with the midwest premiere of this piece by black British actor and writer Kwame Kwei-Armah. Elmina's Kitchen doesn't break new thematic ground, but Kwei-Armah's gift for street poetry and feeling for intergenerational conflict is in sync with the considerable acting skills of Derrick Sanders's ensemble. The story concerns the struggle between Deli, an ex-con now running a West Indian restaurant begun by his late mother in London's troubled Hackney neighborhood, and his son, who's enthralled by the thug life. With only a few missteps, this tightly coiled family drama delivers harsh insights, brutal humor, and some horrifying white-knuckle moments. a Through 10/14: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, 777 N. Green, 312-733-6000, $22.50-$32.50. --Kerry Reid

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