MCC Theater presents a new play inspired by the real-life story of Miss Gloria Allen, a black transgender woman who changed the lives of students at a Chicago LGBTQ community center.
From the producers: When Mama Darleena Andrews - a 67-year-old, black, transgender woman - takes it upon herself to teach an etiquette class at Chicago’s LGBTQ community center, the idealistic teachings of Emily Post clash with the very real life challenges of identity, poverty and prejudice faced by her students. Inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen and her work at Chicago’s Center on Halsted, Philip Dawkins' "Charm" asks - how do we lift each other up when the world wants to tear us down?
Author Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and the world. His play "Miss Marx: or the Involuntary Side Effect of Living" won Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work in 2014. "Charm" received its world premiere in the fall of 2015, produced by Northlight Theatre and presented at Chicago's Steppenwolf Garage.
Sandra Caldwell plays the role of Mama Darleena Andrews, the character based on Miss Gloria Allen. The role marks her first major production in New York City. Rounding out the cast are Michael David Baldwin, Jojo Brown, Marky Irene Diven, Michael Lorz, Hailie Sahar, Emmy nominee Kelli Simpkins, Marquise Vilson, and Lauren F. Walker.
What's MCC Theater? MCC Theater is a well-connected Off-Broadway company...this perhaps due to the 'day jobs' of the intendants, who are major casting directors and producers on larger stages in the city. MCC's productions are almost always marked by a very high standard of casting and technical production. The company's production of "reasons to be pretty" moved to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2008. More here.