Race issues are revisited in Bruce Norris’ ‘Clybourne Park’

From left: Jeremy Shamos, Damon Gupton and Crystal A. Dickinson star in “Clybourne Park,” now on Broadway.

“Clybourne Park,” the fictional Chicago neighborhood and white bastion invaded by the Younger family in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” has been zoned for Broadway — and you might want to take note. Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, with the expert cast from its off-Broadway run intact, continues to radiate wit and insight as it takes on, in the tradition of Hellman’s classic, the thorny issues of race and housing.

Norris offers no easy answers, just trenchant observations. Russ (Frank Wood) and Bev (Christina Kirk), a white couple who have sold their Clybourne Park home to an African-American family after their son’s suicide, are visited by Karl (Jeremy Shamos), a Community Association representative trying to undo the transaction. 

Fifty years later, as the all-black neighborhood is being reclaimed by whites, Steve (Shamos) and Lindsey (Annie Parisse) have bought the same house and are meeting with Owners Association representatives Lena (Crystal A. Dickinson) and her husband Kevin (Damon Gupton) about the height of the construction they are planning.  

In Act I, Kirk overplays Bev’s airheadedness, which might be funny in small doses but is cloying in large. Still, this doesn’t diminish the cohesiveness of the excellent company, whose members play brilliantly off each other in both acts and eras. Norris’ dialogue rings with truth and humor throughout. His genius in juxtaposing two epochs in the same house shows how far we’ve progressed on matters of race and, more pointedly, how far we haven’t.  

If you go

‘Clybourne Park’

Walter Kerr Theatre
219 W. 48th St.
$50-$127, 212-239-6200


'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.


New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…


NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.


Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…


Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.


'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.


Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."


Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.


Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.


New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.


From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.


Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.


MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.