David Henry Hwang, who wrote the 1988 Broadway hit M. Butterfly, penned this smart, funny, touching play, which considers the tangle of sex, spirituality, obedience, hypocrisy, morality, and injustice involved in the process of seismic social change. When a wealthy merchant in 1918 China embraces Western values, his conversion to Christianity dramatically reshapes the lives of his family–especially his three wives, only one of whom he can remain married to. Presented on Broadway in 1998, Golden Child is getting its midwest premiere from the adventurous little Silk Road Theatre Project, which makes it into crackling drama that melds cultural commentary with urgent, often witty storytelling. Director Stuart Carden’s briskly paced, intimate staging perfectly suits the text’s quirky balance of comedy and drama. a Through 4/22: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, Chicago Temple, First United Methodist Church, Pierce Hall, 77 W. Washington, 312-857-1234, ext. 201, $25-$28.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/courtesy of Johnny Knight Studio.