2nd Story’s “Cruel Summer” Ends Up Sweet

2nd Story’s “Cruel Summer” Ends Up Sweet

Gapers Block
Chicago, Illinois

Ines Bellina

The night’s theme may have been “Cruel Summer: Stories of Learning the Hard Way,” but 2nd Story‘s first-ever appearance at City Winery last Monday gave audience members the giddy feeling of a summer fling. Combining storytelling and live music against the backdrop of the gorgeous City Winery stage, the event was perhaps one of the most carefully crafted storytelling soirees of the season. Director and curator Jess Kadish turned a mundane Monday evening into one hell of a summer bash…

…Take the second storyteller, Khanisha Foster. Her heartbreaking (and often laugh-out-loud funny) account of trying to make it as an actor despite her ethnically ambiguous looks showcased her chameleon-like ability to imitate everyone from a shady theater director to Gilda Radner. Foster’s performance was easily the most bittersweet of the night. Her vulnerability was palpable as she described the struggles of wanting to be seen as a talented thespian while being obscured by her “Latina” looks. (Foster’s mother is white and her father is black.) Her versatility as an actor allowed her to easily transition from one character to another, making the piece even more poignant…

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