Stage Black | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Stage Black Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 1 2009

In Lydia Diamond's play, a bright, underfunded African-American playwright sets out to write a drama about an affluent black family, but is constantly interrupted by the characters, who have their own ideas about how they'd like to be portrayed. Protective of their complexity, the family members--an unruly lot, including a spunky lesbian daughter, dyspeptic older brother, and suave grandfather--suspect the writer of wanting to turn them into easily marketable stereotypes (angry young black man, wizened gramps, hypersexualized vamp). Diamond's razor-sharp skewering of what audiences expect from black playwrights—historical pieces about slavery or family comedies with "a big momma on the couch"--is bitterly funny and saves the piece from the tedious self-indulgence that often befalls writing about writing. Mignon McPherson Nance's staging for MPAACT is pitch-perfect, with a fluid style somewhere between satire, realism, and Pirandello. --Zac Thompson

Price: $16-$22.50


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