Thursday April 7, 2022 08:00 PM EDT
CL Critic Kevin C. Madigan Recommends: Esther is a Black seamstress living in a New York City boarding house in 1905 who sews lingerie for Upper East Side big shots as well as downtown prostitutes. Her skills and discretion have garnered her a steady clientele but she remains lonely and longs for a wealthy husband who could fund her own beauty parlor. The playwright is MacArthur grant recipient and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage whose play received top awards from the New York Drama and Outer Critics circles. Viola Davis took the lead role in the first cast on Broadway in 2004. This time Esther is played by Vallea E. Woodbury, known for portraying the character Tituba in the Actor’s Express production of “The Crucible,” as well as making local appearances in “Ain't Misbehavin'” (Stage Door Players), “La Cage aux Folles” (Out Front), and “Bob's Marley's Three Little Birds” (Synchronicity Theatre). The Wall Street Journal called “Intimate Apparel” one of the “very best plays in the past quarter-century.” — KCM
From the venue:In 1905 New York, an independent woman named Esther creates beautiful lingerie for clients that range from white society mavens on the Upper East Side to prostitutes in the Tenderloin district. As she works toward her dream of opening a beauty salon for Black women, she earns the trust, respect and friendship of her diverse customers. And when she enters into a romantic correspondence with a mysterious pen pal, her quest for empowerment and self-actualization takes unexpected turns. A landmark play from MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage.
At Actor's Express Theatre Company