Thornton Wilder's Our Town
carries the unfortunate stigma of being required reading in high school. This tale of two families in a small New England town is gentle and folksy, yes, but it's not soft and sentimental. Still, it took a landmark revival, first in Chicago and then off-Broadway in 2009, for the show to get a fresh appraisal. Under David Cromer's direction at the Barrow Street Theatre, Our Town
—acted in the midst of the audience, under house lights and in costumes that could have walked in off the street—proved a revelation. The radical, fourth-wall-breaking aspects of Wilder's script came to the fore, as did the existential bleakness of his themes. This production was a smash, running for 644 performances, the longest run in the play's 75-year history.
Leave it to the folks at Little Green Pig to see their own opportunity to interpret the story. This version features an all-black cast and is set in Durham's Hayti community, circa 1901–13. It will be performed in the repurposed Trotter Building at 410 W. Geer St., and the original music comes from the rich, eclectic mind of Justin Robinson. We suggest not waiting 'til closing night to catch this one.