Originally penned by Alice Childress in 1966 but unproduced until 1972, Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black & White delivers a blistering indictment of the South’s anti-miscegenation laws against the backdrop of a deeply moving portrait of urban black life in post-Civil War America. Directed by Gregg T. Daniel, the double-cast production now playing at the Antaeus Company offers some of the finest ensemble acting currently onstage (the Sweet Potatoes team performed at the show reviewed). Set in Charleston, South Carolina in 1918, the play follows Julia Augustine (Karole Foreman, sharing the role with Veralyn Jones), a woman who has been in a relationship for 10 years with a white man. Francois-Pierre Couture’s elegant set design places the bed in question front and center, shielded by transparent walls that let us literally peer into bedrooms. Though contemporary parallels certainly exist with the gay rights movement and the ludicrousness of attempting to legislate marriage, Wedding Band is primarily a race play. For audiences accustomed to the restraint many contemporary blacks are forced to practice in the face of modern, often coded, displays of racism — lest they be deemed Angry Black Men (or Women) — the first act’s fireworks finale proves a satisfying catharsis.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 28. Continues through Dec. 7, 2014
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