In the present-time second act, the community is African-American, represented by Lena (Ellis) and Kevin (Wilson). They can't halt white gentrification, but they want to stop its growth in the instance of this one house, which current owners Steve (Hantman) and Lindsay (Warren) want to heighten by 15 feet. Members of the Clybourne Park community association are gathered round, going over a thick, multi-section petition to the landmark commission.

The high point of hilarity in the second half is, believe it or not, a spate of racist jokes, both anti-white and anti-black. You have permission to laugh at them. Perhaps they do more than anything else in the play to point out that racism is sometimes a matter of context and intention. In this particular production, those laughs provide an especially useful counterpoint. Between Norris's direction and Crowe's depthful take on ostensibly droll lines, Clybourne Park acquires a darkness that makes this far more — and far more valuable — than a comedy about race relations.

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Related: Preview: Trinity charts Ebenezer's emotional journey, More musings on death at Trinity Rep, Review: Trinity Rep gets to the Heart of Scrooge, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Rachael Warren, Mauro Hantman, Anne Scurria,  More more >
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