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"By the Way, Meet Vera Stark" at the Goodman Theatre ★★
In the first part of "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark," the new play by the formidable, Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe Lynn Nottage, a couple of African-American actresses in 1933 Hollywood are perusing a screenplay. No surprise to these women, it is to be one of those Southern plantation epics — the story of a tragically beautiful octoroon who falls in love with a white merchant. The two women share a cynical laugh about the movie studio's creative bankruptcy and inept racism, and then they get to the meat of the conundrum. One points out that the character breakdown includes slaves. Her friend perks up.
May 6, 2013