Trouble in Mind | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Trouble in Mind Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 3 2011

Hattie McDaniel, who won an Oscar for her performance as the mammy in Gone With the Wind, once said she'd rather play a maid than be one. That's also the position taken at first by Wiletta Mayer, a character in Alice Childress's 1955 dramedy about an integrated cast rehearsing an anti-lynching play. Velma Austin reveals Wiletta's awakening conscience with believable passion and spine, though the script leaves us wondering what sparked her transformation. The rest of Vaun Monroe's ensemble nails a tricky blend of show-biz posturing and personal revelation. Eustace Allen's put-upon stage manager is a subtle comic highlight, and the final confrontation between Austin and John Mossman's pseudo-liberal director is a corker. --Kerry Reid

Price: $15-$28

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