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A "Tar Baby" on stage draws laughs and some winces

Can we talk about race?

Maybe we can pretend to talk about it while pretending not to talk about it. That seems to be the sly approach of Desiree Burch ’01 in her show Tar Baby, currently running Off-Broadway.

Introducing her performance, comedian and actor Burch "says she doesn’t want to do a show about race and then tells the audience members that they don’t really want to see one," a New York Times reviewer says. “'You want to say you saw a really important show about race,' she says, a sneaky smile emerging, 'And I want to say I did that show.'”

The Times calls Tar Baby an "overly busy performance piece" that "lacks finesse in its execution," but can still be "funny and uncomfortable at the same time." The New Yorker has a more positive assessment: "The show is messy and uncomfortable, but it’s also smart, original, refreshing, and maybe even necessary."

Tar Baby runs through January 19 at the DR2 Theater in Manhattan.

Filed under Desiree Burch, Theater, Tar Baby, race
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