“Clybourne Park” at Seattle Repertory Theatre

“Clybourne Park” written by Bruce Norris opened on Broadway (after an Off-Broadway run) the same week it opened here in Seattle. Here are snippets of what the New York critics had to say about the New York production:

“A theatrical treasure! Indisputably, uproariously funny,” Entertainment Weekly

“Ferociously smart! A vital, superlative production of the sharp-toothed Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy.” Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“Superb, hilarious and explosive!” John Lahr, The New Yorker

“Funny as Hell! The theatre shakes with gales of laughter.” Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post

“The best play of the year is also the funniest.” Fox 5 News

I’d say the same thing about the Seattle production directed by Braden Abraham, but I’d add a few thoughts.

The play, a spinoff of Lorraine Hansberry’s “Raisin In the Sun,” probes racism, that issue we don’t really want to discuss, the one we’d like to think we’ve already dealt with. You know, the one that still simmers, sometimes boils under the patina of brotherhood. This play deals with racism head on, and from the perspective of both sides at different time periods.

The Seattle production grabs you from the opening moments and like a boa constrictor tightens its grip with every passing moment. Indeed, “funny as Hell yet explosive.” Seattle’s cast is superlative and the set is straight out of Oak Park (one of the first Chicago suburbs to be integrated)

I deplore the common Seattle practice of giving standing ovations to just about every production audiences get to see. Standing ovations are meant for theatre pieces that knock your socks off. This production deserves a standing ovation.

Through May 13 at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center at Mercer St. and Second Ave. (206 443-2222 or www.seattlerep.org).

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