'Ameriville'

There's no overarching narrative in this show, more an overarching question: If Hurricane Katrina happened again today, would we be any better off? "Ameriville" is written and performed by the New York-based company Universes, directed by Victory Gardens artistic director Chay Yew, and consists of hip-hop, song, comedy, poetry and dance. It premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival in 2009 and opens Monday at the Biograph, where it's currently in previews. 
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What it says on the subject: </b>In developing the show with Universes, Yew says the company wanted to something on "the state of the nation. I said, 'that's great but just too vast.' So I suggested Hurricane Katrina. Katrina really opened up wounds, I think, in terms of class, in terms of race, in terms of health care."
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Would the same thing happen again, Yew asks, if, for instance, a devastating tornado hit Chicago? What lesson do we still need to learn? "That our democracy, our freedom, is not a given. You have to work at it," Yew said. "If you don't work at it, it will be taken away.
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"All this," he said with a laugh, "through music, song, dance and hip-hop."
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Details: </b><i>Through Feb. 26 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; $20-$50 at 773-871-3000 or victorygardens.org</i>

There's no overarching narrative in this show, more an overarching question: If Hurricane Katrina happened again today, would we be any better off? "Ameriville" is written and performed by the New York-based company Universes, directed by Victory Gardens artistic director Chay Yew, and consists of hip-hop, song, comedy, poetry and dance. It premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival in 2009 and opens Monday at the Biograph, where it's currently in previews.

What it says on the subject: In developing the show with Universes, Yew says the company wanted to something on "the state of the nation. I said, 'that's great but just too vast.' So I suggested Hurricane Katrina. Katrina really opened up wounds, I think, in terms of class, in terms of race, in terms of health care."

Would the same thing happen again, Yew asks, if, for instance, a devastating tornado hit Chicago? What lesson do we still need to learn? "That our democracy, our freedom, is not a given. You have to work at it," Yew said. "If you don't work at it, it will be taken away.

"All this," he said with a laugh, "through music, song, dance and hip-hop."

Details: Through Feb. 26 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; $20-$50 at 773-871-3000 or victorygardens.org

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