Written by Joanna McClelland Glass
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
Starring Dan Chameroy, Kelli Fox, Yanna McIntosh and Nigel Shawn Williams
Studio Theatre until Sept. 21
The Stratford Festival’s premiere of Joanna McClelland Glass’ Palmer Park is fabulous theatre. Glass is writing about race relations in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, but it could be a metaphor for any collision of cultures. Palmer Park is an integrated neighbourhood, and the play is about the losing struggle of middle class whites and blacks to keep it that way and truly live the American dream.
The white couple is portrayed by Dan Chameroy and Kelli Fox, while Yanna McIntosh and Nigel Shawn Williams are the black family. They give wonderfully nuanced performances, as does the racially mixed supporting cast. Director Ron OJ Parson does a terrific job of highlighting both Glass’ very funny one-liners as well as the play’s angst.
Palmer Park is everything that theatre should be – satisfying on every level – artistically, philosophically and emotionally. A definite run don’t walk.
Palmer Park continues at the Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre until Sept. 21.
I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.