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  Black! at Athenaeum Theatre


Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport Chicago

In "BLACK!," Brown inhabits an array of characters from Africa, the United States, England and Jamaica, performing each person's individual perspective and sharing his experiences. The production highlights the nuances and life perspectives of various people who are from the Black global community. Many stereotypes currently exist which seem to 'mesh' all black people and their stories together. The truth is that there are distinct differences and very definite similarities between Black people from all walks of life. In addition, each carries their own distorted and often exaggerated opinions about the other, which is a way to distinguish a separation, even though in truth, they are more alike than they believe. "BLACK!" uses the power of language and performance to delve into these characters to reflect on this communities' history and their future as well as what they do and do not share of the global Black experience.

Thru - Jul 30, 2017

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $25

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-935-6875

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  Black! Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...In sum, there's no shortage of provocative material in Brown's exploration of "the black global community." The structure of the piece isn't the strongest, and there are a few technical glitches marring it. But as Brown digs into the "daily black experience" of Americans, Caribbeans and Europeans, he creates a story that's both compelling and enlightening. The first act of the 90-minute production (which does not need an intermission) is Brown's exegesis on what ails African Americans in the United States. From the U.S., Brown takes the audience to his native England, and then to Jamaica and Africa."
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Catey Sullivan

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Their musings range from provocative (can a Britisher ever feel "black enough?") to insupportable (black people have a "natural sense of danger"). Whatever the case, they do little but hold forth during their extended, discursive speeches; they're bundles of convictions and concerns rather than people. Brown is a graceful performer with a knack for accents, but he never lets us gets below his characters' skin."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Brown exhibits superlative dialect skills in the creation of his personae, and if his sermonizing sometimes grows repetitious in its efforts to stretch itself to 90-minute feature length, his plea for unification is a timely reminder of the increasing importance of global values over parochial prejudice."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...Michael Washington Brown contains multitudes. Fresh from the fringe circuit, the British actor is briefly in Chicago with his one-man show, "Black!," which is a meditation compiled from interviews with his friends about what common experiences and attitudes exist throughout the African diaspora, and how they take on different forms. Over the course of one hundred minutes, Brown transforms not only into three other speakers: a black American, a Jamaican-Briton, and an African, but also into several of their conversational partners. An empty stage becomes a house of mirrors for reflection on black identity."
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Jacob Davis

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