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  Sugar In Our Wounds Reviews
Sugar In Our Wounds
Sugar In Our Wounds

Sugar In Our Wounds
First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre
Thru - Nov 23, 2019

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First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Sugar in Our Wounds hurts so good that you can't help but sympathize with our protagonists as they find love and then lose it—and as I looked around the audience after the play ended, I saw I wasn't the only one who'd succumbed to my tears."
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Marissa De La Cerda



Theatre By Numbers- Recommended

"...The tree itself is a gorgeous amalgamation character brought to life by scene designer Joy Ahn, sound designer Sam Clapp, and lighting designer Eric Watkins. Its voices, pulsing lights, and descending woven plank arms make it an interactive supporting player. Director Mikael Burke has amassed a brilliant ensemble, and whittled each moment down to angry and poetic normalcy. It’s an opportunity for all Chicago theater-goers to face historic cruelty at its most disturbing, and not flinch. “Sugar in Our Wounds” is not an easy play to watch, but there is such a reward in the way it values queerness and blackness that history has callously dismissed."
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Sean Margaret Wagner



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...In the hands of a lesser skilled director than Burke, perhaps Love’s poetic language could have become stagnant and saccharine, but Burke kept the beauty in the words grounded in the intentions of the characters. By Burke keeping the expressive text active, it remained expressive and not effusive; essential and not merely ornamental. Burke’s direction unraveled the inner lives of the characters through the words, instead of tangling and tripping them."
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Sophie Vitello



Chicago On Stage- Recommended

"...Because this is a melodrama, prepare for some strong emotional responses. (One woman at the show I attended left at the end openly sobbing.) Though I am not quite sure that Love made the best choice here by introducing the mystical to what was already a powerful story with serious and painful elements about the treatment of slaves and homosexuals-maybe the play would have been more powerful without magical distraction-there is no doubt that the tree's history adds a potent and omnipresent reminder of historical persecution to the moments we are witnessing. Today, decades after the civil rights movement ostensibly made the races equal, in an era in which gay marriage is legal across the US, we continue to witness additions to this persecution brought on by ignorance and hatred. Sugar In Our Wounds is a reminder (as if we need one) that the historical fight goes on and there is not a real ending in sight."
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Karen Topham



Picture This Post- Somewhat Recommended

"...Sugar in Our Wounds takes on a topic-- gay life in slavery-- that is intriguing and not often broached, if at all. In this writer's view, this is a play primarily for those who like all things queer-themed. In this play, dialogue that is supposed to be of the Civil War era includes modern slang like "blow me away", "funky", "I'm good", "weird shit" and similar. If you, like this writer, recoil at anachronistic dialogue and plot lines, it's probably best to steer clear of this production."
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Amy Munice



Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...Sugar in our Wounds contains great pain, but there are also inspiring doses of joy and intimacy. James is given a wide eyed, nimble presence by Michael Turrentine. Not the kind of young man who relies on debasing himself to be small, he is just observant and enthusiastic, with a remarkable amount of self control for such a seemingly young person – arguably due to Aunt Mama. That changes when Henry comes to town and they collide in a passionate love that shakes the ancestral tree and community to their very roots. We are, due to Mikael Burke’s creative staging, able to peek in on their intimate moments suspended in its branches, beautifully lit by Eric Watkins."
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Regina Victor