Thornton Wilder's classic play, "Our Town," depicts American life in the early 1900's as it was in the small (fictional) town of Grover's Corners. Based on this familiar-to-many theater piece, "Our Suburb" transplants the show's setting to playwright Darrah Cloud's hometown, Skokie, Illinois. Skokie became famous in 1977 for fighting a proposed neo-Nazi group march through the town, whose predominantly Jewish community was home to many Holocaust survivors. This historical backdrop provides the context for the action of the show, which attempts to capture the life of the mostly Jewish community with the same arresting commonplaceness as Wilder's original. And like the original, "Suburb" is meta-theater: The show is set in the theater in which it is being performed. The main character is the stage manager, who narrates and openly interacts with the audience as well as filling in for story characters.
"Our Suburb" opens on Saturday, March 14, and continues through Sunday, March 29, at the Jewish Community Center Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Avenue. Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. $18-$26. jcccenterstage.org.