Summer Short List – Clybourne Park

Summer Short List – Clybourne Park

It’s 1959 and after a family tragedy, Bev and Russ are moving out of their Chicago neighbourhood . The knock-down price means that a Black family will be moving in and to the dismay of their neighbor Carl, who tries to tell Bev and Russ – in front of the Black maid Francine, that they are undermining property values.

Fast forward 50 years and a young white couple, Lindsey and Steve want to build a new house on the same plot, but face hostility from the all-Black residents’ committee who are concerned that white newcomers will erase the cultural significance of the area. The  house in Clybourne Park is the very one that the Younger family was set to move into at the end of “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s watershed drama from 1959.


Clybourne Park

Overall, I found the play to be a little confusing to follow in the beginning. As the drama started to unfold around the issues of integration, white flight and gentrification, I realized this play was dealing with issues plaguing communities today. Toward the end of the performance I was pleased that I had added Clybourne Park to my Summer hit list of Broadway plays.

 

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