Performance » Theater

Oh lá lá!

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Ah … what a perfect antidote to the recent national conversation around race and violence and equity. Sure the dialogue is necessary, but sometimes the news just gets too intense. Thankfully the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre is currently staging What I Learned in Paris, a hilariously wonderful play set in 1971 in the city of Atlanta.

Its playwright, Pearl Cleage, says she writes to express the point where racism and sexism meet. This production does exactly that, exploring issues of segregation and feminism in the ’70s, as the city elects its first black mayor. But you can leave your soapbox at home and just sit back and enjoy the show. It’s smart and funny and you’ll be glad you saw it.

Actors Erika LaVonn, Cedric Mays and Tracey N. Bonner in What I Learned In Paris. - PHOTO BY ZACH ROSING
  • Photo by Zach Rosing
  • Actors Erika LaVonn, Cedric Mays and Tracey N. Bonner in What I Learned In Paris.

Expect a refreshingly diverse crowd, because it’s essentially a romantic comedy that crosses color and age barriers. Anyone over 18 will enjoy the opportunity to hear these weighty issues delivered in a comedic format. And Matthew J. LeFebvre does an amazing job on wardrobe, balancing period costumes with authenticity. Instead of being clichéd and over the top, the fashions (along with hair and makeup) were dead-on and apropos throughout.

What I Learned in Paris runs through April 12. Tickets can be purchased online and range from $25-$59. As an added bonus, fans of artist Kyle Ragsdale can purchase his posters featuring scenes from the show. His works will be for sale in the IRT lobby.

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