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Home > To See or Not To See > TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: Steppenwolf’s “Clybourne Park”

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: Steppenwolf’s “Clybourne Park”

October 5th, 2011

Every first Wednesday of the month, get caught up with what’s on stage with a review round-up. And that vaguely hollow, clinking sound you hear at the end of each segment? That’s me tossing in my two cents. For October, I’m hitting the road to see an acclaimed play that is soon to make its way to Broadway:

Photo by Michael Brosilow.

CLYBOURNE PARK

Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer and Olivier Award winning play, inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s classic  A Raisin in the Sun, finally takes residence in its home city of Chicago under the auspices of the legendary Steppenwolf Ensemble. When it’s discovered that a black family is moving in to a white enclave (and fifty years later, yuppies are reclaiming the house for gentrification), neighbors turn on neighbors in an incendiary (yet often hilarious) examination of ownership and otherness.

“…a masterful work for various reasons.” Chicago Tribune

“…a brilliantly acted Chicago premiere.” Chicago Sun Times

“…a tense, probing, provocative production from Steppenwolf Theatre Company.” Chicago Reader

“…stands on its own as a powerful, intriguing, gaspingly funny, and undeniably tragic contemporary masterpiece.” Variety

Mizer’s Two Cents: Broadway may be getting its own production of this explosively funny, beautifully structured play, but I can’t imagine it could get better than this bone deep version directed by actress Amy Morton and populated by the kind of unselfconcious, hard working actors Chicago is known for. And what performances. The ensemble rumbles and simmers as a perfect unit until they boil over in dangerous and delirious tirades of racially fueled mistrust. Thoughtful, moving AND entertaining, this is a great night of theater.

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