Paradise Blue | TimeLine Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Paradise Blue The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 23 2017

Part of a trilogy structured around transformational moments in the life of Detroit's African-American community, Dominique Morisseau's drama is set in 1949, when Paradise Valley—the business center of the city's black ghetto—was about to be razed for urban renewal. A trumpet-playing nightclub owner known as Blue is determined to cash in and get out, despite the havoc that will wreak on those closest to him. Both the character and the situation have loads of potential; even the familiar types with which Morisseau surrounds Blue—the wised-up dame, the doormat girlfriend, the bantam lothario—can't dampen that potential. But other factors do: Morisseau's lapses into self-help jargon, an engaging but crucially insufficient performance from Ronald L. Conner as one of Blue's bandmates, and Ron OJ Parson's staging, which is stronger in its elements than as a whole. Al'Jaleel McGhee, on the other hand, smolders dangerously all the way through as Blue. —Tony Adler

Price: $38-$51


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