Rating the Local Authenticity of Three New Chicago-centric Plays

CUE THE 312: A look at The Kid Thing, Momma’s Boyz, and Clybourne Park

The Kid Thing at Chicago Dramatists (in association with About Face Theatre)
Playwright: Sarah Gubbins

STREET CRED: This Uptown resident, 37, grew up in La Grange, graduated from Benet Academy in Lisle, and earned an MFA in writing from Northwestern in 2008. “I don’t mention specific neighborhoods so much as I try to convey Chicago in the tone. There’s a fearlessness to the way people argue here, and it was important that fearlessness be in the water for this piece.”
TRUE CHICAGONESS:
Three stars

 

Momma’s Boyz by Teatro Vista at Chicago Dramatists
Playwright: Cándido Tirado

STREET CRED: The Brooklyn-based playwright’s history with Teatro Vista goes back to 2007, when it produced the first reading of Momma’s Boyz. Originally set in New York, the location has been changed to Chicago. “I’ve adapted the play to Chicago’s street slang. For example, in New York, urban youth call each other ‘son,’ while in Chicago they call each other Joe.”
TRUE CHICAGONESS:
One-and-a-half stars

 

Clybourne Park at Steppenwolf
Playwright: Bruce Norris
STREET CRED:
 The Texas-raised playwright, 51, attended Northwestern and worked in the Off-Loop theatre scene until moving to New York at 37. “The word ‘Chicago’ is never uttered. No one in Clybourne Park refers to it in any way, so it’s not really a play about Chicago. It’s about neighborhoods all across the country [in] big cities that have had the white flight/gentrification problem.”
TRUE CHICAGONESS:
Half star

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