What I Learned in Paris | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

What I Learned in Paris The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 7 2016

Whether or not she learned them in Paris, Pearl Cleage clearly understands the conventions of French comedy. This 2012 play takes an old Gallic (and before that, Italian) gambit—that of the ingenue promised to a rich old man but yearning for a certain young one—and gives it an American spin. Paris is set in 1973 Atlanta, at the moment when Maynard Jackson became the first black mayor of a major southern metropolis. In Cleage's telling, Jackson's campaign staff gear up for their next battles—romantic as well as political. The script flags a little toward the end as Cleage stops to stuff in her various messages. Still, Daniel Bryant's staging for Congo Square Theatre moves nicely, and there are charming performances by Ronnel Taylor as the youthful beau and Shanesia Davis as yet another figure Moliere et al would recognize: the wise older woman who sets things right. —Tony Adler

Price: $19.50-$37


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