"Crowns" (Goodman Theatre): Handpicked Hallelujah Chorus of Biblical Proportions

#141.  I love hats!  They serve as a fashion statement and cover up flawed hair.  Until the late sixties, the Catholic Church required them at mass.  So every Easter, my sisters and I would get to pick out a new outfit:  dress + hat. I focused on the hat part because there were only ever a couple dress choices in Sears’ limited-chubby-girl section. But hats fit everyone. I could select from any of the pretty hats in the store.  And, I always took (Center) Marketta P. Wilder as Yolanda in Regina Taylor’s 10th anniversary production of Crowns at Goodman Theatre (photo credit: Liz Lauren)special care to find *the one* that would make me feel most beautiful.        

Goodman Theatre presents the all-new 10th anniversary production of Crowns.  Yolanda lives in Chicago’s Englewood.  She self-identifies with the edgy neighborhood.  She expresses her pride in spoken word and street dancing.  When her brother is murdered, she is sent to her grandma’s in South Carolina.  Mother Shaw and her church-going ladies share their stories of sorrow and joy with her.  Each tale is accompanied by the perfect hat for the life occasion. Initially, Yolanda resents the culture shock.  Eventually, she finds solace and herself in the Southern rituals that link to her African heritage.  Crowns wears many hats in this poignant journey to self discovery.

Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.

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