Capathia Jenkins, Ken Robinson, and Nathan Lee Graham. The uproarious and groundbreaking comedy by George C. Wolfe that redefined what it meant to be black in contemporary America, The Colored Museum plays March 6 — April 5, 2015 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

Credit: T. Charles Erickson.

This Weekend: Jared Bowen Recommends, The Colored Museum, Grounded, Simon Says, '71

March 12, 2015

The Colored Museum Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company, it plays at the BU Theatre through April 5th; Billy Porter’s Live From Lincoln Center special airs April 3rd on PBS.

“Playwright George C. Wolfe has called his play, The Colored Museum, both “a celebration and an exorcism.” An outrageous comedy that presents eleven exhibits in The Colored Museum, the show is rife with satire of the Black experience. From the moment the play opens with a welcome to the “celebrity slave ship” including shackles and all (and at which point I heard the first of many audience members quietly utter “oh God”) you know well the riotous journey you’re about to take. In the hands of director Billy Porter (Tony winner for Kinky Boots), Museum is funny until it’s not—when the satire becomes searing.”

Grounded Presented by the Nora Theatre Company, it plays at Central Square Theater in Cambridge through March 22nd.

“This one-woman show by George Brant stars Celeste Oliva as an Air Force pilot whose bravado and cockiness roll off her with abandon. But when she finds herself pregnant, she’s relegated to the “chair force” as a drone operator working out of a facility in Nevada. In a taut, endlessly gripping 90 minutes, we see the pilot move from the heights of glory in carrying out remote drone strikes in the Middle East to the depths of despair as she’s forced to reconcile going from battle one minute to being home with her family the next. It’s a brutal toll made resonant in an exceedingly well written script. Oliva, who only seems to grow exponentially more talented on Boston area stages, is monumental as the pilot. She may be grounded, but here Oliva soars in one of the best performances of the season.”

Simon Says Plays at the Boston Center for the Arts through March 14th.

“Billed as a dramatic séance, Simon Says is playwright Mat Schaffer’s story of our souls. James (Anthony J. Goes) is a psychic who’s long channeled the being, Simon. Professor Williston (Ken Baltin) is the insatiably curious academic fascinated with James’ mystical prowess and discoveries. And Annie is a young widow hoping James can connect her with her deceased husband. Over the course of the 90-minute play told in real-time, James conjures more than Annie’s husband. Schaffer, who has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Mysticism from Tufts University, explores the notion that our lives our intertwined—not just the physical ones.”

‘71 In theaters Friday.

“One of the first great movies of the year, ’71 catapults us back to a tumultuous night in 1971 during thick conflict in Northern Ireland. Amid the sectarian violence in Nationalist controlled Belfast, Gary (Jack O’Connell) is a young British soldier dispatched with his ill-prepared unit to a pressure-filled Belfast neighborhood to conduct house searches. Tension boils over, a riot and a horrific murder ensue and suddenly the soldier is left behind. Gripping camerawork and directing make for a riveting, tension filled thriller as Jack passes through the clutches of various operatives in his mission to escape Belfast.”

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