The Bebop Theatre Collective's Sty of the Blind Pig opened last night at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium. Sitting in that theater in the heart of Liberty City, time seems to rewind. You're transported to a small apartment in pre-civil rights Chicago — a witness to the secrets inside one of Chicago's State Street high-rises. At times humorous, also tear-jerking, but ultimately a three-act masterpiece, the story is about a family's struggles with death, poverty, love, and sin.
The cast of four engages you with inspired performances that are both endearing and polarizing, embracing -- no, living the roles of this classic, written by Phillip Hayes Dean. In a scene that director SC2 says might get him kicked out of the church, "good girl" Alberta gets lost (and found) in the caverns of her own mind, entrancing the audience with a breathtaking monologue coupled with amazing physical expression.
The Sty of the Blind Pig refers to a place in someone's past, a last stop for the parts of the pig that the butcher didn't want. But at the end of the third act, you'll begin to wonder if the origin of the title is really as simple as it seems. Or does the sty refer to the fenced-in home of a pig? To a blind pig a sty could be imagined, something in the mind of a creature too scared to explore an area too far beyond his snout.
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Any interpretation could be true of the people in this story, and that's what makes the story so gripping. The questions it makes you ask yourself about your relationships, and your own life, definitely makes this production of The Sty of the Blind Pig more than just some show. It's definitely worth a night off the couch.
The play continues its run tonight, March 24, 30, and 31. Get into it. --Raina McLeod