Chicago Sun-Times theater and dance critic Hedy Weiss joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to discuss three plays on the stage right now. Tonight, we hear about Clybourne Park, In the Next Room and The Real Thing.
Clybourne Park at Steppenwolf
On two separate afternoons, 50 years apart, a modest bungalow on Chicago’s northwest side becomes a contested site in the politics of race. In September 1959, Russ and Bev are moving out to the suburbs. They’ve inadvertently sold the house to the neighborhood’s first black family and ignited a community showdown. In September 2009, the neighborhood is ripe for gentrification and the house is again changing hands. This time to a young white couple with plans for demolition and a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. In a provocative nod to A Raisin in the Sun, Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris takes a hilarious look at what happens when home becomes a battleground. The play runs through Nov. 6 and is in the Downstairs Theatre. Tickets are $60.
In the following video, actor and Steppenwolf ensemble member James Vincent Meredith talks about Clybourne Park.
In the Next Room or the vibrator play at Victory Gardens Theater
Sarah Ruhl brings her Tony-nominated Broadway hit home to Chicago. In the twilight of the Victorian age, a buzzworthy new medical device is developed to calm women with “hysteria.” In fact, it has quite a stimulating effect when used in the home offices of Dr. Givings, that most modern of men. As he pioneers an intimate new therapy, his young wife becomes determined to investigate the experiments that have patient after patient leaving the procedure room with the rosy glow of pleasure. Ruhl’s stylish comedy pulses and hums along as it dispels old-fashioned notions of female sexuality, intimacy and marriage at the dawn of the age of electricity. The play runs through Oct. 9 and is in the Zacek McVay Theater. Tickets range from $15 to $50.
The Real Thing at the Writers’ Theatre
A married playwright blurs the line between reality and his dramas on the stage as his personal life unravels before his very eyes. Deeply moving and bitingly funny, Tom Stoppard’s razor sharp drama brilliantly examines the complex nature of love, art and reality. Artistic Director Michael Halberstam directs this multi award-winning modern classic. The play runs through Nov. 20 and is performed at the Tudor Court Theatre. Tickets are $70.