Levee James | ETA Creative Arts Foundation | Stand-Up | Chicago Reader

Levee James Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 31 2009

S.M. Shephard-Massat's finely crafted 2004 play tackles the collision of race, property, and history in 1920s rural Georgia. Lily Grace Hoterfield, a lively but wounded black woman working as a domestic for a white Atlanta family, tries to persuade her dead sister's husband to leave the farm he's spent his life building. The plot unfurls according to the creaky rules of melodrama, but Shephard-Massat's virtuosic command of dialogue elevates her characters' vernacular speech to an almost operatic poetry (she's clearly learned a thing or two from August Wilson). Kona N. Burks's luminous turn as Lily anchors the show: veering from drunken brashness to heart-stopping vulnerability, her performance is both emotionally complex and theatrically riveting. --Leon Hilton

Price: $30

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