Goodman Breathes Life Into Conception – Review By Rick & Brenda McCain

"How To Catch Creation" now playing at the Goodman Theatre.

In its new production How To Catch Creation, the Goodman Theatre brings to the stage a story of love, desire, loss, hope and inspiration, where friends and lovers intermingle and experience a twisted act of faith.

The art of love can be seen everywhere, but what happens when your creative inspiration is no longer there, and you feel as though the passion for your craft has disappeared? How can you fuel your desire to create again?

This play, which is somewhere between fact and fiction, provides multiple meanings of creation spanning a time frame from the 1960s to the present.

(Here’s a scene from the rousing “How To Catch Creation”)

How To Catch Creation is by the gifted playwright, Christina Anderson. The director is Bessie Award-winning theater director and performance artist Niegel Smith, whose most recent work for Goodman was Father Comes Home from the Wars (Part 1, 2, & 3), which was the theatre’s number one play for 2018. Together, Anderson and Smith’s brilliant collaboration makes this a magnificent play.

Scenes from “How To Catch Creation”

Creation is a work of art of intersecting parts set in a city by the bay similar to San Francisco that follows six intellectual people coming together and apart in a vibrant portrayal of discovering the meaning of life, having children, and understanding that desire and destiny sometime don’t go hand to hand.

The celebration of Black love and deep friendships are highlighted as the characters’ lives continue to intertwine and they find out that the creation of life can transform right before your eyes.

This robust Black narrative infusing injustice and predisposition with a dose of laughter and passion provides Goodman Theatre with a play that is first-rate storytelling filled with over 50 years of creativity.

We had the pleasure of seeing a dress rehearsal several weeks before the play’s opening night, and this stellar cast truly brought to life each character as they collectively become the heartbeat of the storyline.


Stokes (Bernard Gilbert) and Riley (Maya Vinice Prentiss) portray a young couple in love, and Riley wants to see her man’s dreams of painting manifest at a prominent art school so that she can create her own dreams.

Then there’s motivational speaker Griffin (Keith Randolph Smith), a man whose life has been on lockdown for over 20 years. He is coping with his new surroundings in society with his lesbian friend artist and college administrator Tami, (Karen Aldridge), who tends to be very pessimistic.

Lastly, there’s Natalie (Ayanna Bria Bakari), a seamstress who is in love with writer G.K. Marche (Jasmine Bracey), who has finally regained her writing prowess. However, G.K. and Natalie’s relationship has some issues when the writer’s devotion to her writing makes Natalie feel isolated.

Playwright Christina Anderson

Playwright Christina Anderson best known works include Good Goods and Inked Baby. She has won two Playwrights of New York nominations, and the Harper Lee Prize for Playwrighting.

Anderson’s brilliance in creating an open forum of discussion is visionary and provides a pathway for future playwrights to express their creativity without prejudice. She is definitely someone to watch in the coming years.

Director Niegel Smith

Director Smith shows the ability to move the right pieces into place and make you feel what each character needs, even if its adlibbing to make the scene work. He is a director in demand.

Set designer Todd Rosenthal entices the audience with state of the art landscapes of intertwining moving parts with a rotating stage that drops you right into the action. It sets the ambiance for the storyline that will draw you into each character’s lifestyle.


How To Catch Creation is highly recommended. Check it out to see how it unfolds at the Goodman Theatre. The play runs through February 24.

Let’s Play reviewers Rick & Brenda McCain

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