Author: Ilaria Cutolo

The Sign In Sydney Brustein’s Window

It’s hard to say at first what The Sign in Sydney Brustein’s Window, written by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Anne Kaufman, is all about. Is it about modern man’s need to believe in something? Society’s inequalities, homophobia, racism, sexism, classism-all of the above? Yes, I believe it is. 

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shadow/land transports us to the heart of New Orleans 2005; the year Hurricane Katrina makes her catastrophic landing. The play is set in a black-owned nightclub spanning multiple generations of a once hopping, cultural hotbed of jazz greats. Ruth, (Joniece Abbott-Pratt), desperate to get to safer ground, must contend with her determined octogenarian mother, who suffers from middle stage dementia and is in no hurry to leave her club for a meager storm. Over the next 90 minutes we witness first hand the mother-daughter dynamic; their loves, regrets, denials, and pain and the agony that befalls the two women as they spend days trapped on top of their nightclubs’s bar surrounded by water. 

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