I have to say that I knew nothing about Clybourne Park when I bought a ticket from TDF a couple of weeks ago. It had transfered from Lincoln Center and I’d heard it was amazing. I was 100% trusting the theatre community’s word-of-mouth. And I’m glad I did.
Currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 48th Street, Clybourne Park is about two generations of opposite race coming and going in the same house. It touches on topics like race, class, and politics in general. The first act takes place in 1959 with a supremely effected white family (think Stepford Wives) moving out of their home after selling it to a black family, while the second act takes place in 2009, with a white couple wanting the buy the now completely in shambles house to tear it down and build something new.
The cast is the same for both acts but they’re barely recognizable. The transformations they go through are incredible. They look somewhat the same at first and then you begin to remember who they played in the first act. And your jaw drops open. Frank Wood was the only name I recognized (as the angry father/dopey construction worker), but the rest of the cast, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk, Annie Parisse, and Jeremy Shamos, were equally as excellent. The intermission is extremely long (they have to transform the house entirely, so it’s understandable).
I know there’s been a bit of vitriol around this play, but I don’t understand it. Go and check it out for yourself. I promise you’ll laugh at least once.