It felt a little like going to watch a fiddling concert, while the city burned even if that is the most incredible hyperbole, but Sunday I went to see "Charm" put on by the Mosaic Theater Company at the Atlas Performing Arts Company. I rode the bus with plenty of folks carrying signs who got off the stop nearest the White House to go protest the refugee ban.
"Charm" is the story of Mama Darleena Andrews, a transgender woman of a certain age who decides that today's LGBTQ+ teens could use a little more charm, so she starts a class. The class consists of a variety of cis, trans, fluid, straight, gay, and bi young people and the Center's director is agender. The most obvious missing letter from the LGBTQ+ was the L, but for a cast of nine, they covered quite a bit.
As you might expect for a multigenerational story, Darleena ends up learning just as much from the youth and the center's director, as they do from her. And the play looks at various forgotten and cast aside people struggling to find their place in this world, and finding their own family and friendship through the class. "Charm" is set in Chicago and was inspired by Mama Gloria Allen.
I really enjoyed the story, I laughed, I cried, and while the run at Mosaic has now ended, if you have the chance to see this show, I recommend it.