Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Toya Turner

Toya Turner

Carin Silkaitis

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 22 2015
Price: $25
Nearly 23 years ago a jury decided that four Los Angeles police officers acted properly in using truncheons to beat the hell out of Rodney King. The riots that ensued killed 53 people. By comparison last summer's protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were models of decorum. Yet LA 1992 and Ferguson 2014 are similar in all too many other ways, starting with the rock-bottom, essential fact that the perps then as now were cops, the victims unarmed black men. In telling one story playwright-performer Anna Deavere Smith can't help but tell both. Twilight is a documentary work constructed entirely of verbatim quotes pulled from interviews Smith conducted with people who lived through the LA riots. Its genius lies in its comprehensiveness: We meet King's aunt and the cop who nearly killed her nephew. Activists with 20-megaton chips on their shoulders and a Korean store owner with a bullet lodged in his frontal lobe. Sly congresswoman Maxine Waters and scary/ridiculous police chief Daryl Gates. Cornel West and Gig Young's fourth wife. We even hear from black opera star Jessye Norman, profoundly, on why she refused to sing at an LA church. Over the course of two and a half hours it's clear that Smith isn't peddling anything but the realities of a desperate situation. Continue reading >>



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