Chicago Theatre Review
“Yellowman” at Stage 773
Now through October 9th
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8 PM
Sunday at 2 PM
Tickets $15-$25 at www.Stage773.com
or by phone at 773.327.5252 or at the box office
Greene Tree Productions is currently presenting their latest show at the in-transition Stage 773. “Yellowman” is a two person piece with alternating short monologues telling the intertwined stories of Alma and and her boyfriend. Alma is a large, dark-skinned woman who is faced with hateful treatment by lighter-skinned African Americans. She grows up with her friend, later boyfriend, Eugene whose skin is “yellow, like butter.” Their relationship is criticized throughout their youth in South Carolina, until Alma decides to make a change.
Alma is played by Emmy Award-winning actress Deanna K. Reed. She’s the life of the show, with her whimsical giggles and impressions. J. Israel Greene, playing opposite Reed, falls a bit short. During some of his longer monologues, attention seems to be held at bay for Reed to return. Not all blame can be left to him, though. The play, although telling an important story, is told in a dull fashion. The separate, side-by-side perspectives are intriguing, but the tale moves quite slow and lacks much action until the second act. The set is also quite simple, to match the story, although very charming with its glittering glass bottles spread under the wooden platform. Maybe not the most exciting choice for a night out, but “Yellowman” is unique, speaking about a frequently overlooked prejudice, and is, as mentioned before, also very charming.
Stage 773 is unveiling their $1.5 million renovation at their grand opening celebration Sunday, October 16 at 7 PM.