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THE ARTS: "The Book of Ezra"

Posted by Elwin Green on October 15, 2014 at 2:00 AM

by Denise Johnson

"Th​e Book of Ezra" closes on Oct. 25. Before you grab your Bible and go to the Old Testament, you should know that "The Book of Ezra" is a world premiere one-man theatre work by Leslie Ezra Smith _ and that it is well worth your time.

 

Autobiographical, "Th​e Book of Ezra" is a road map for his teenage son (something Smith's absentee father never provided). Smith retraces days of his youth growing up in Homewood during the late-80s at the height of gang violence. A deeply personal piece of theatre in which Ezra lead us through places he's never spoken of before, as well as tween angst with girls and a bitter lesson in loyalty.

 

Smith keeps real and relevant as he cites a litany of unarmed black youth killed by police, and talks about not wanting his son to join Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, among other challenges of urban life.

 

PG-rated language makes this a production a great conversation with your teens (or your friendly neighbor knucklehead who insists on sharing his music so you can feel it) , with parts that are guaranteed to spark a dialog and keep the conversation going.


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The Homewood Chronicles

Oct. 2005 - March 2010

Reports from a community in transition

In October 2005, after a bullet came through his living room window, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Elwin Green began writing "My Homewood," the first blog on the P-G's website. For 4 1/2 years, "My Homewood" shared stories of tragedy and beauty, of perplexity and hope - stories that live again in "The Homewood Chronicles."

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