The House That Will Not Stand | Victory Gardens Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The House That Will Not Stand The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2016

Inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, this play by Marcus Gardley attempts to confront issues of race, sex, and class through the lens of a fascinating period in New Orleans history. Matriarch Beartrice Albans (Lizan Mitchell), a Creole, has obtained wealth and stability by serving as the placée—in effect the concubine—of a wealthy white man. But now that her "husband" is dead, she fears everything is about to slip through her fingers. And though she tries to protect their daughters from entering into similar circumstances, they're blindly determined to follow the same path. Helmed by artistic director Chay Yew, this minimalist production never captures the magic of voodoo or the culture that gave it birth, but feels neutered and contrived. There are some eloquent monologues, but Gardley too often relies on one-liners and zingers to entertain the crowd—not to mention the show's appropriation of Beyonce tracks for some awkward music transitions, as if capitalizing on Lemonade will make it seem hip and relevant. Instead, despite the powerful talent onstage, it adds about as much to the cultural discourse as a voodoo shop at the airport. —AJ Sørensen

Price: $31-$60



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