‘Clybourne Park’ probes race, class with satire, smart cast
Susan Saccoccia | 3/20/2013, 11:06 a.m.
All these confrontations are great fun. But Russ and Bev are alone with a tragic secret they hope to leave behind, along with their dead son’s Army footlocker.
In Act II, 50 years later, a circle of young professionals outfitted in casual urban chic gathers in the house. The trivia goes upscale, but once more small talk, excessive politeness and joviality yield to heated exchanges.
Lena (MacFarlane), the niece of Lena Younger, her husband Kevin (Minifee) and their lawyer, Tom (Spears) represent the current Owners’ Association. They want to preserve the house as a landmark of the neighborhood’s African American heritage. In a high-minded but impotent speech, Lena says that her people have “a lot of pride,” resurrecting a poignant phrase from the climax of the Hansberry play.
The new owners are Steve (Michael Kaye) a reborn Karl, and his wife Lindsey (Philana Mia), a yuppie lawyer, accompanied by their real estate attorney, Kathy (Paula Plum). Embarrassed by her husband’s combative defense of their private property rights, Lindsey assures Lena, “Half of my friends are black!”
Thomas Derrah is Dan, the chatty workman who hauls in the footlocker he has unearthed from the yard while digging a trench for the couple’s koi pond. Like Russ in Act I, Dan is the only character who looks at the facts.