Friday, Oct. 14, 2011
Tonight @ Milwaukee Repertory Theater, 8 p.m.
Widening the path broken by Uprooted Theatre, which produced Dael Orlandersmith's 1995 work Beauty's Daughter, Milwaukee's flagship theater enriches the city with this Romeo and Juliet story of a light-skinned African-American man and a dark-skinned woman in 1960s South Carolina. A 2002 Pulitzer finalist, the forward-looking Yellowman examines a complicated legacy of slavery: the tendency within African-American communities to accept social norms based on skin shade. The show works on multiple levels. It's a romance between two people, but it's also the s story of two families tied up in the echoes of an old culture that will not die easily. Beyond it all, the most fascinating end of the story is Orlandersmith's insight into the way old ignorance perpetuates itself as people and cultures come of age.