Love Child | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Love Child 

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This sharply written play deftly combines hilarious comedy with a serious look at the problem of babies having babies. As a social worker exhorts four gum-snapping teen mothers to respect themselves, the audience glimpses the unhappy relationships these girls have with their own bitter mothers. Written by Chicago Theatre Company managing director Luther Goins, Love Child debuted at Live Bait earlier this year. Four cast members have changed, but returning director Ilesa Lisa Duncan has again gathered a tight ensemble of well-cast women along with the versatile Ansa Akyea playing all the male characters. Markietha Ka'Von Singleton is new to the central role but captures TaWanda's youthful fear and longing so powerfully that a climactic confrontation between the character and her violently angry mother (again played forcefully by Ace) gains new emotional impact. As the other teen mothers, Mashari Laila Bain, Sonya T. Evans, and Samara Smith brim with boisterous bravado. Du Shon Monique Brown and Stacie Doublin reestablish their comical spinster rapport, and Michelle Williams returns as the girls' source of help and hope. Chicago Theatre Company, Parkway Community House, 500 E. 67th, 773-493-5360. Through December 30: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM; Sundays, 3 PM. $20.

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