...and L.A. Is Burning

In the spring of 1992, all of America watched as riots broke out across L.A. after a jury acquitted four white police officers of beating Rodney King, an African American, despite graphic video evidence. In that swirl of rage, playwright Y. York heard a voice ("like a dart, ill-aimed and poisonous") and a character was born: Haddie. York wrote down what Haddie, a white, middle-aged government worker who sees the world in black and white, had to say, and then the playwright thought she was done. But later, she says, other voices emerged, including Alvin, Haddie's African-American co-worker, and Sylvia, an academic from the East Coast who wants to change the world. The bits and pieces became a play and, somehow, the rage that was the riots was transformed into the comedy ...and L.A. Is Burning.. Aptly named, ...and L.A is an examination of racism, liberalism and the modern workplace.

Michelle Britton, a Main Street Theater favorite who was seen in Design for Living, appears as Haddie. Timothy Dickson, whom Houston audiences remember from an outstanding performance last season in the Ensemble Theatre's Sty of the Blind Pig, is Alvin. And Gwendolyn McLarty, seen in MST's Betrayal and Indian Ink, plays Sylvia. Meet this trio of complicated and comedic characters when they come together in the world premiere of ...and L.A. Is Burning. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through November 9 (no performance October 17). 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit www.mainstreettheater.com. $20 to $35.
Sat., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 11. Continues through Nov. 9, 2008

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Lee Williams