“A handful of …isms”
Four productions including one rock opera musical that explores a handful of …isms, or an informal often derogatory, unspecified doctrine, system or practice: Socialism, Racism, Classism, Sexism, etc.
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How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel is a funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. It is a multi-award winning play including the 1998 Pulitzer Prize.
“Ms. Vogel has written a lovely, harrowing guide to the crippling persistence of one woman’s memories.” – NY Times
Gus is an artist. Vanessa is an actress. Gus wants to be presented in a major exhibition for artists of color, so he hires Vanessa to perform as Balkonaé Townsend, a brash and political artist that will fit the museum’s desire for “new voices.” Everything is great, until Balkonaé takes over and Gus has to deal with the mess he’s made. This plays spins out of control as it explores issues of race, gender, sexuality, and art.
“This funny…work draws on both life and art to examine racial tourism, power, and identity…WHITE bursts with humor…the best of which come at the expense of the institutionalization of art…The ending adds a surreal twist, driving home Ijames’ exploration of black women’s exploitation by feminism, by contemporary culture, and by white women.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
“WHITE is pure gold…Ijames’ audacious and hilarious play takes on racism, sexism, and a handful of other isms…It’s bold, outlandish, insightful, and exciting…a sharp deconstruction of racial, ethnic, gender and social stereotypes, examined from multiple points of view…Subverting expectations, cracking wise and opening eyes, WHITE is quite a statement. Ijames fills it with twists, right up to its final moments. You’ll want to be along for the ride.” – DCMetroTheatreArts.com
The collaborators on CHESS are giants of rock music (ABBA) and rock musicals, and here they have created a complex rock opera that played to full Broadway houses and standing ovations. In this musical, the ancient game becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics, and international intrigues. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and a Hungarian American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match in Bangkok with the American, but falls for the Russian. From Bangkok to Budapest the players, lovers, politicians, and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a monumental rock score that includes “One Night in Bangkok” and “Heaven Help My Heart.”
“One of the best rock scores ever produced. This is an angry, difficult, demanding and rewarding show.” – TIME
“Worth seeing.” – New York Post
“…shot through with aching authenticity, GOOD PEOPLE is that rare play that is both timeless and completely keyed into a specific moment in American life—without the need to grasp for topicality. Bringing the same clear-eyed emotional observation that distinguished his Pulitzer winner, Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay-Abaire has crafted another penetrating drama about deeply relateable issues, albeit this time with more warming doses of humor.” – Hollywood Reporter
“David Lindsay-Abaire pays his respects to his old South Boston neighborhood with this tough and tender play about the insurmountable class divide between those who make it out of this blue-collar Irish neighborhood and those who find themselves left behind. The scrappy characters have tremendous appeal, and the moral dilemma they grapple with—is it strength of character or just a few lucky breaks that determines a person’s fate?—holds special significance in today’s harsh economic climate.” – Variety