Happy Opening to the cast and crew of Clybourne Park at Yellow Tree Theatre!
This was an opportunity that came my way last summer in the midst of moving to Minneapolis and in the thick of Fringe and The Matchmaker (where I first worked with the wondrous Craig Johnson and Dan Hopman). I remember feeling like it was going to take a million years to get to February, but of course, the year went faster than I thought it would and here I am playing the role of “Kenneth”. I won’t say too much about the part, but it involves a very poignant scene in the play about a young man, a vet from Korea, who never got any breaks upon returning home and has run out of options.
The play itself is perfect in almost every way. I first read it in college when it was fresh off its 2011 Pulitzer Prize and 2012 Tony for Best Play and instantly falling in love with it. Then when I was in New York for the summer of 2012, I was able to catch the show on its original Broadway run (closing weekend no less!)
Related to the events of A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park deftly navigates from sobering drama to gut-busting comedy quickly and un-apologetically. It deals with race and gentrification in ways that leaves no one group spared from a not very PC joke, comment or observation. It is with little surprise then that I say this play is not for those without a sense of humor, but then again, it’s also for those who truly want to engage in a serous conversation about everyday race relations; not about riots and corrupt police, but about the way we handle ourselves in day-to-day interactions with those who are “different” from us. Indeed, these are very powerful subjects that are made easier to swallow by the comfort of laughter.
Clybourne Park runs now until March 6th and I would encourage anybody and everybody to see it! The already incredible script is made even stronger by the cast who never lets you go until the thrilling conclusion. Here’s some more specific info:
- Directed by Craig Johnson and featuring Laura Esping, Patrick Coyle, Ashley Rose Montondo, Jason Peterson, Dan Hopman, Ricardo Beaird, Vincent Hannam and Joetta Wright.
- 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu. Ends March 6.
- Yellow Tree Threatre, 320 5th Av. SE., Osseo. $15-$25. 763-493-8733, yellowtreetheatre.com