|Ivah and Arnie (Charity Jones and|
Andrew Erskine Wheeler,
photo by Rick Spaulding)
|Arnie (Andrew Erskine Wheeler) and his client (Ron Collier)|
celebrate (photo by Rick Spaulding)
racists, who are pretty clear villains, spouting a lot of ugly and ignorant rhetoric that's difficult to listen to). Andrew Erskine Wheeler and Charity Jones are both wonderful as Arnie and his wife Ivah, and Kendall Olson and Carter Monahan are their charming children, rounding out the family dynamic. The large and talented ensemble plays multiple characters, the transition aided by Anna Hill's '60s period clothing (but not too flashy, these are St. Paul families). The set is the same as Not in Our Neighborhood since they were already built for the two shows in 2020 - a clever and versatile silhouette of a house, with different images and videos projected onto it to depict the different homes and other locations (scenic design by Rick Polenek, video design by Kathy Maxwell).
Watching this play is depressing, but necessary. Depressing because it sometimes feels like we haven't made any progress in racial equality and justice in the last 50 years (the program notes that Minneapolis/St. Paul has the lowest rate of Black home ownership of any US city, a despicable statistic). But necessary because understanding our shared history, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is vital to understanding where we are today, and why. Not For Sale continues at History Theatre in downtown St. Paul through February 27, and will also be available to watch virtually (click here for more info).