Pullman Porter Blues
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★★★ "On the night of June 22, 1937 — when Joe 'The Brown Bomber' Louis was fighting James 'Cinderella Man' Braddock to become world heavyweight champion — everyone and his brother was trying to get into Chicago. But the immaculately turned out heroes of playwright Cheryl L. West's new "play with music" at the Goodman Theatre, 'Pullman Porter Blues,' are headed out of town, courtesy of the Illinois Central Railroad's all-Pullman service, the Panama Limited. They are headed due south, or, as one of the African-American characters in this play dryly notes, "in hell's direction." West and director Chuck Smith get at these issues by introducing us to three generations of porters, each representing different ways of dealing with this life. Monroe Sykes (Larry Marshall) is an old-school survivor, tipping his hat to the racist white conductor (played by Francis Guinan) and doing all that his masters ask, while quietly handing out copies of the Chicago Defender to Southern folks along the rails, as these porters actually did, fueling the Great Migration." - Chris Jones, [Read the full review](http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ent-0925-porter-review-20130924,0,2209518.column)