Parody on Display

Karamu celebrates Black History Month by dissing its people.

Cleveland art
As the “curator” of The Colored Museum, Karamu House director Caroline Jackson-Smith is well aware that George Wolfe’s controversial play puts black history under a satirical microscope. It’s made up of 11 vignettes, or exhibits, that poke fun at African Americans. “The Last Mama on the Couch Play” spoofs historically black theatrical productions, like A Raisin in the Sun and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. “The Gospel According to Miss Roj” is about an African American transvestite in a New York gay club. And “Cookin’ With Aunt Ethel” stars an “Aunt Jemima/Mammy character” who gives her twisted take on historical events that have shaped black life.

“George Wolfe is a take-no-prisoners kind of person,” says Jackson-Smith. “All these stories have this interesting tension, with incredible, outright humor, where you bust out laughing. You’re laughing, and then you’re asking yourself, should I be laughing at this?”
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 26. Continues through Feb. 19

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