‘Paradise Blue’ in Previews at City Theatre (Sun., 3/13/22)

PARADISE BLUE by Dominique Morisseau. City Theatre. March 12 – April 3. 

Anyone familiar with the plays in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle may wish to see one from a similar series, Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Project. Whereas Wilson wrote 10 plays about the lives and quandaries of African Americans—each set in a different decade of the 20th century—Detroit native Morisseau has written three for her Project, set at various times since World War II. City Theatre is staging the play that comes chronologically first, Paradise Blue. The year is 1949, just as urban redevelopment is starting to put the squeeze on Black neighborhoods and businesses in Detroit. Tensions arise when a jazz musician, who owns a nightclub in the city’s Black Bottom district, faces a decision whether to sell the club and leave behind the people who’ve been in his world for so long. City Theatre’s production features original music composed by present-day jazz artist Theron Brown. The actors are Monteze Freeland, Melva Graham, Wali Jamal, Rafael Jordan, and Eunice Woods. Paradise Blue plays at 1300 Bingham St. Pick-your-price-previews. 7 p.m. South Side. 

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Mike Vargo

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