Clybourne Park makes a Philly stop before Broadway

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Clybourne Park" is expected to be a big show on Broadway this spring. But first it's here at the Arden Theatre in Old City.

In"Clybourne Park," race and humanity collide as the suburban house at the center of "A Raisin in the Sun" is sold first to blockbusting blacks in 1959 and then back to gentrifying whites in the present day.

Ian Merrill Peakes of "Clybourne Park" says, "It's a play about trying to understand each other and failing miserably at it, in a constant and heartbreaking way."

The actors say they hear the audience buzzing as they recognize their own history on stage.

"They'll talk about Philly, They'll talk about Mount Airy. A lot of the older folks will say I went through that, a lot of us went through that," said Josh Tower of "Clybourne Park."

Whites in Act I fear blacks will mean lower property values.

Blacks in Act II fear whites will mean an entitled culture shift.

Neither side can see how their misgivings about each other play a role in exactly those outcomes.

"It's a great play for all of us to think about listening to other people and asking questions to figure things out, because we all make assumptions and 95% of them are invalid," added Peakes.

"Clybourne Park" closes on Sunday, and is technically sold out. However, there is a waiting list, and you call 215-922-1122 for more information.

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