Fires in the Mirror | 16th Street Theater, Berwyn Cultural Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 28 2009
Price: $16
16thstreettheatre.org
Anna Deavere Smith's documentary play--about the 1991 riots that engulfed the black and Orthodox Jewish communities of Crown Heights, Brooklyn--was originally performed with Smith embodying all 26 of the people whose statements she recorded and used. Ann Filmer's staging for 16th Street Theater uses a quartet of actresses, with mixed results. Caroline Rau is a spot-on Al Sharpton, and Cheri Lynne shines in a number of roles. But too often the interest comes from witnessing the performers' attempts to take on the Other, rather than from the material itself. It doesn't help that Smith's piece starts with self-congratulatory musings on identity from poet Ntozake Shange, rather than throwing us into the heart of the great muddle of race, ethnicity, and class. --Kerry Reid

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