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Your guide for Black History Month
Hold on to your attitude about Black History Month for a moment. Whether you question why there's a crop of new shows having to do with the African-American experience just because it's February, or applaud the occasion as an important observation (and at this point, historic; Black History Month dates back to 1976), one point trumps both: There are shows out there worth seeing. Chicago director J. Nicole Brooks is the director of the play currently at Lookingglass Theatre about Jackie Robinson, and for her part she said she wanted to put on "Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting" but also wanted not to be scheduled in the Black History Slot. That's what she calls it, the Black History Slot.
"I said, 'This is a play about baseball.' I wanted to put it later in the season so we all could have this visceral reaction," she said, "and go out and catch a baseball game." Hard to do in February. "I'll say this much, there's a lot of 9-year-old kids out there that have never heard of Jackie Robinson," she said. "So if I can bring them this story, yeah, I'll take the Black History Slot."
Also this month, there's "Race" at the Goodman Theatre, the Ralph Ellison novel "Invisible Man" adapted for the stage at Court Theatre, "The Legend of Buster Neal" at eta Creative Arts and, opening next week at the Biograph, "Ameriville." Seven shows in all. — Doug George