Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Clybourne Park

It's 1959 and black family's about to move into a white Chicago neighborhood, to the consternation of the community. White flight. Half a century passes and after rough times the neighborhood is ripe for gentrification. But resentment lingers into the new generation, and by the time a contractor digs up an old trunk buried in the yard, and plops the baggage of the ages literally on center stage, we've seen just how the ugliness of America's never-ending racial "conversation" has transformed over the decades – transformed, but hardly died down. Aided by Pam MacKinnon's commendably transparent direction and fine performances all around, playwright Bruce Norris has dramatized his perceptive view of these changes (and lack thereof) with wit, skill, and heart. The play never feels self-conscious; it deals with larger-than-life issues with compelling life-sized characters and naturalistic dialogue – the hardest kind to write. It's a marvelous accomplishment. Click here the full review and a discount ticket code.

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