Get Eddie’s recommendations for shows on stage now that you should be sure not to miss.
In their 2016-premiering musical, Miss You Like Hell, Quiara Alegría Hudes (book & lyrics) and Erin McKeown (music & lyrics) send a troubled teenage, mixed-race girl and her estranged, undocumented, Mexican-born mother across the country in a borrowed, red jalopy of a truck. Their version of this American tradition is one that has rarely been produced on paper or stage – a trip through the freeways and backroads of America by someone other than whites. In co-production with Teatro Visión, City Lights Theater Company presents a rousing, compelling, and moving Miss You Like Hell that in the end provides a stomach-wrenching punch to bring home to us all the current, devastating effects of our broken, immigrant policies and practices.
In Aurora Theatre Company’s award-winning Detroit ’67 in 2018, the sounds of Detroit’s homegrown, Motown music were the background beat of Dominique Morisseau’s funny and frightening, heart-warming and heart-stopping play, Detroit ’67, the first of a trilogy about her hometown and a story that explodes amidst horrendous riots that scarred the city for decades. The Company now opens Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue, the second part of the Detroit trilogy, this time set in 1949 in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Blackbottom and Paradise Valley where the notes of jazz mesmerizingly fill the air and where a newly elected mayor has his sights on total neighborhood destruction in the name of urban renewal and a new freeway system. Once again, the same, above adjectives of funny and frightening, heart-warming and heart-stopping can equally apply to Aurora’s emotionally captivating, gripping, and stunning production of what is a must-see evening of theatre.
Among the long list of what makes the Shotgun Players production a must-see is its combination of an intriguing story of Natasha’s doomed love affair and Pierre’s desperate search for meaning in his life (based on seventy pages of Part 8 of Tolstoy’s classic,War and Peace); a magnificent, telling of the story with the music being a mixture of classical, Russian folk, indie rock, and electronic dance (all sung, save one spoken line between the two title characters’ only scene together); and a staging where dancing and singing cast members and those playing instruments wind in and around audience members sitting only inches away.
Tony-nominated and written by the two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage, Clyde’s takes place in the kitchen of a truck-stop diner where any sandwich drowned in pickle relish is heresy to the team of cooks who take turns dreaming of their perfect sandwich – one like “bacon, lettuce, grilled squash on cornbread with molasses butter.”
But these are not cooks graduating from the local culinary institute. These are the likes of a former bank robber, a charged assaulter, and a pharmacy thief who have been hired by the only person who would give these ex-cons a second look: Clyde who herself has seen time behind bars.