Probably most appropriate for high-school audiences, James Anthony Zoccoli’s one-man show presents his childhood of racial identity confusion in a combination of monologue, stand-up and family slideshow, with some fly-for-a-white-boy dance moves that keep the show dynamic—and a DJ off to the side spinning tracks that complement the story cleverly. Spanning from age seven, when his mother married a black man who raised him, to Obama’s election, Zoccoli’s account offers a sincere and sometimes awkwardly honest look at the performance of race from the little-explored point of view of a white boy “raised black” (whatever that means, and Zoccoli doesn’t seem quite sure himself). It’s a shame that he doesn’t bring more complexity to the perspective—there are some really funny and insightful lines here, but they get lost in simplistic, occasionally smarmy civics lessons. But Zoccoli’s a gifted storyteller and born entertainer, and if his lecture on the originations of the word “caucasion” and human life in Africa are cringe-inducing, they’re quickly forgotten during his spot-on impressions of his family and pop culture figures of the eighties. (Monica Westin)
At DCA Studio Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E Randolph (312)742- 8497. Through February 22.