Hedy Weiss: Theater Reviews

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’ll hear about Invisible Man, Race, and Mr. Ricky Takes a Meeting.

Invisible Man at Court Theatre

Based on a novel by Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man follows a young black man from the South, who makes his way to Harlem. There, he crosses paths with a Marcus Garvey stand-in from the black nationalism movement, works in a factory producing white paint, is checked into a mental hospital, all the while struggling with his invisibility to white society. Tickets are $45-$65, and the play runs through February 19.

Race at Goodman Theatre

David Mamet’s latest play follows three lawyers—two black and one white—as they decide whether to defend a wealthy white man charged with the rape of a black woman. Director Chuck Smith has experience with plays detailing 20th century race relations (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Amen Corner, and The Good Negro) and said he was attracted to Race because “David Mamet is incredibly blunt as a writer; he doesn’t hide anything beneath the covers in this play.” Tickets are $23-$60, and the play runs through February 19.

Mr. Ricky Takes a Meeting at Lookingglass Theatre

What if you could be in the room when Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey tells Jackie Robinson he will join “the varsity team” and be the first black player in the MLB? Mr. Ricky envisions a fictionalized version of events, where Ricky calls on three black celebrities to help persuade Robinson to take the job: boxer Joe Louis, dancer Bojangles Robinson, and singer and political activist Paul Robeson. Rather than making things easier for the baseball star, the men clash over selling out and the destruction of the Negro League. Tickets are $40-$54, and the play runs through February 19.