White Like Me: From Jewboy to B-Boy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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White Like Me: From Jewboy to B-Boy



Recent issues of American Theatre magazine have been chockablock with debate about the role of hip-hop in contemporary theater. But Cleetus Friedman's new autobiographical solo piece doesn't break any new ground. Instead this Eyes Po production feels like a throwback to the solo boom of the early 90s, when dozens of performers decided that their coming-of-age stories warranted an audience's attention and money. A disaffected Jewish child of divorce in a Baltimore suburb who discovers his voice through hip-hop, Friedman tells a tale that simply isn't novel enough to hold our interest. Nor does he have the kind of manic energy and protean gift for mimicry that John Leguizamo and Friedman's fellow Jewish B-boy Danny Hoch have been honing for years. There are flashes of genuine wit, and DJ Sapien has assembled a cunning soundscape, but the show remains distressingly pale. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM. Then 1/7-2/12: Fri 8 PM, Sat 7 and 11 PM. Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 312-446-8969. $15.

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