September 20 – October 16, 2022
“a rich, vivid portrait of turn-of-the-last-century New York; a feminist lament of intelligent, talented women defined and controlled by men; a soft-focus glimpse into the beating hearts behind the archives of African American life a century ago.” New York Times
In 1905 New York, Esther, a talented seamstress, specializes in beautiful corsets for society ladies on Fifth Avenue and prostitutes in the Tenderloin. While illiterate, she’s done well and has put aside a good deal of money toward her dream of opening a beauty salon. But she is lonely. Esther begins receiving letters from George, a labourer on the Panama Canal, and with the help of one of her wealthy patrons, she enters a romantic correspondence with him.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage was inspired by her real-life great grandmother, who made lingerie in turn-of-the-century New York. Intimate Apparel was listed among the forty best plays ever written (Independent UK).
Why I Chose This Play
This is simply a wonderful story! Lynn Nottage imagines an old photograph of an anonymous Black woman and gives her a history. It’s full of yearning and friendship and romance. A good old-fashioned play! Michael Shamata