Crossroad Blues

Cephus Miles’s story is not a happy one. First he has the misfortune of being born black into the Jim Crow-era South. Then his childhood sweetheart marries a career man while away at college. Next he gets drafted into the Vietnam War. He resists and is imprisoned for five years as a draft dodger. Once released, he learns that his farm has been sold and he must take work as a manual laborer. But just as he finds himself homeless on the streets, his luck begins to change. He learns that a mysterious benefactor has purchased his old farm for him. After a 13-year absence, Miles hardly recognizes his now-integrated hometown, appropriately named Crossroads, and he is amazed and a little humbled by the identity of his secret patron. The lesson: Always keep an eye out for a happy ending. Miles’s story, written by Samm-Art Williams in the play Home, garnered Tony and Drama Desk awards when the Negro Ensemble Company first performed it on Broadway in 1980. This month, local theater company the M Ensemble brings the tale of woe and redemption to the Lightbox Theatre at Goldman Warehouse to celebrate the troupe’s 40th anniversary. Luther Wells, a Miami native and Florida A&M University theater professor, will direct. See Home this Thursday. Performances run through June 26.
June 16-26, 8 p.m., 2011
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Amanda McCorquodale

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