Words on the Street | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Words on the Street 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Words on the Street, DMG Productions, at Donny's Skybox Theatre. An anthology resulting from six weeks of collective development, this evening features songs, sketches, improv games, and poetry from 18 artists seeking to share an African-American perspective on the human experience. For the most part, director Claudia M. Wallace and ensemble keep things light and loose. Each three to five minutes we meet a new set of quirky characters: a quartet of catfighting choir ladies vying for a handsome deacon's attention; a barber (Jason Ball) who sees racism in everything (he views millionaire sports stars as slaves and Colin Powell as "the biggest house nigger this country's ever seen"); a blond anchorwoman for North Shore News (Robin Thede) wistfully longing--Little Mermaid style--to be part of the hood; and a ventriloquist act featuring a debate over the size and prowess of the dummy's woody. No need to think too hard; just sit back and laugh. But the heart of the evening rests in the hands of poets Still Black See and Cornelius Flowers, whose raw, thoughtful expression surprises us all the more by being tucked between the breezy fare. Particularly powerful is a first-act sequence in which See represents himself as cause and effect of his environment--a pimp, a hater, a statue pissing on the unripe fruit of everyone around him--and Flowers follows with a more hopeful stance, an eloquent elaboration of the adage "Stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Kim Wilson

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
May 07
Performing Arts
April 08

Popular Stories