Celebrating Chicago: Crowns at Goodman Theatre

Okay, I LOVE theatre.  Especially stories that completely take artistry and imagery to another level. Today’s entry for 175 Days to Love Chicago goes there — Crowns at Goodman Theatre.  I’m not going to even try to explain it further than the site:

“Regina Taylor’s gospel musical sensation, Crowns, returns to the Goodman Theatre, promising audiences a joyful good time.  When Chicago-born Yolanda is sent down South after the death of her brother, she finds strength in the tales of the wise women who surround her—and the powerful rituals connected to their dazzling hats. This jubilant musical traces the roots of Gospel through contemporary hip hop, fusing rich storytelling with abundant “hattitude” into a stirring coming-of-age tale. Crowns is a not-to-be-missed celebration of song, dance, cultural history—and glamorous headwear.”

Think about one of the best feminist props out there — headwear.  For the most part, until recently, it was extremely distinctive from men’s headwear.  And Duchess Catherine‘s popularity has certainly made it much more popular again to be looking at headwear.  Just thinking about this musical and how Yolanda finds strength in her sisterhood, I really want to out and find the film How to Make an American Quilt. And then rent something about the Freedom Riders, and the solidarity by those that wanted to break down those racial barriers. And then read something about Viola Liuzzo, one of those forgotten figures in history that died trying to share in those struggles, and who I only learned of when I visited Selma and crossed the bridge (truly a spiritual moment for me in December 2005 — thanks Uncle Phil!).  Which will then remind me that I haven’t yet finished John Lewis‘ memoir Walking with the Wind, which is a shame, because I’ve met the man and wow, what an honor.  I’ll never be that influential, but I do hope I can be as true as he is to his vision of America, one where we can all wear whatever headwear gives us strength, and that we can all find a way to appreciate comes from deep within our unique and collective experiences.


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