Teesee’s Town: Sharon McGhee’s Pocketbook Monologues at DuSable Museum

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Five media sistahs join Sharon McGhee March 22 at DuSable Museum for a special Women’s History Month performance of Mc- Ghee’s critically acclaimed stage production, The Pocketbook Monologues, taken from her book of the same name.

Five media sistahs join Sharon McGhee March 22 at DuSable Museum for a special Women’s History Month performance of McGhee’s critically acclaimed stage production, "The Pocketbook Monologues," taken from her book of the same name. Dorothy Tucker (CBS- 2), Marion Brooks (NBC-5), Cheryl Burton (ABC-7), Micah Materre (WGN-TV) and Robin Robinson (FOX News) co-star in the brutally honest, funny and poignant recollections about “pocketbooks,” a term used by many older African-American women to describe their “intimate selves.” It’s the Black woman’s answer to "The Vagina Monologues."

“Hilarious, funny, heart-warming, educational, unique, emotional, intimate and absolutely entertaining” is how I described TPM after seeing it in January ’08 at Steppenwolf Theatre with a mostly female audience. And I strongly urge you to join me as the curtain rises at 4 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium. Host: WVON Radio where McGhee is news director.

“I agree with Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, when she says, ‘It is time for women and girls of color to have an honest discussion about the personal responsibilities that accompany intimacy in 2009 and beyond’,” McGhee says. “Consider ‘The Pocketbook Monologues’ the conversation starter. We talk about everything and have a lot of fun, but the underlying message is the health of women and girls with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness.”

Buy tickets (only $35!) online at http://www.wvon.com or by phone, (773) 247- 6200, x462. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Hope to see you there!

Celebrating Diversity – The world premiere of acclaimed playwright Regina Taylor’s "Magnolia" takes root at Goodman Theatre March 25 to celebrate the theatre’s commitment to diversity. Diversity Night begins with cocktails in Petterino’s and then the performance in Goodman’s Albert Theatre followed by a discussion. Heading the annual “invitational only” event are host committee chairs: Les Coney (Goodman’s Board of Trustees), Elizabeth Thompson (Goodman’s Women’s Board and Anita Glencoe (Goodman’s Scenemakers Council). And on the committee: Dr. Linda O’Bannon, Peter C.B. Bynoe, Pauline Montgomery, Rebecca Ford Terry, Sherry John, William Richards Jr., Leslie Carey, Sheree Franklin-Hill, Keith Green among others.

"Magnolia" was penned by Taylor, Goodman’s award-winning artistic associate. Directing for the first time at Goodman is Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro, who helms a cast of 12 led by Tony Award nominee John Earl Jelks (August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean) and Academy Award nominee Annette O’Toole (Smallville, A Mighty Wind, 48 Hours) in the leading roles of Thomas and Lily.

A member of Goodman’s Artistic Collective, Taylor is a playwright-director-actor whose work has been described as “bold and thoughtful” (Newsday), “strikingly theatrical” (Associated Press) with a “sense of authenticity; you feel that you’ve been transported to someplace real and welcomed there” (New York Times). She wrote and directed "The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove" produced at Goodman in 2006; "Drowning Crow," her adaptation of Chekhov’s "The Seagull," which premiered at Goodman and wrote the award-winning Crowns, which has subsequently become the most performed musical in America. Her other plays include "Oo-Bla-Dee," which premiered at Goodman and won the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award; "Escape from Paradise," a one-woman show; "Watermelon Rinds;" "Inside the Belly of the Beast;" "Mudtracks;" "Love Poem #97." She curated "Urban Zulu Mambo," a night of plays by Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Suzan-Lori Parks and Kia Corthron.

Taylor’s credits include roles on Broadway, off-Broadway and resident theaters; film credits, "Clockers," "Losing Isaiah," "Lean on Me," "A Family Thing," "Courage Under Fire" with Denzel Washington, and "The Negotiator" with Samuel L. Jackson. For her role as Lilly Harper on the TV series "I’ll Fly Away," she won an NAACP Image Award, was nominated for an Emmy Award and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Leading Dramatic Actress. She currently portrays Molly on CBS’ "The Unit" (2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama).

"Magnolia" takes place in 1963 Atlanta. As Martin Luther King Jr. inspires Black citizens to fight passionately for their civil rights, the new mayor erects Peyton Wall to restrict where they can live. Amid these churning social currents, Magnolia Estate faces foreclosure, pitting the sensual, free-spirited heiress against a strong-willed businessman who lays claim to the estate where his ancestors were slaves. As we celebrate the first African-American president, Taylor’s poignant and timely world premiere reminds us how much of Dr. King’s dream has been realized — and how much is yet to be achieved!

For tickets and more info, call (312) 443- 3800 or visit http://www.goodmantheatre.org.

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