There's something in the name "Elijah"; it has a foursquare, hickory-solid, indomitable ring to it. One thinks of Elijah Lovejoy, the Illinois abolitionist and newspaper editor who repeatedly faced down mobs of Missouri pro-slavery goons — until they murdered him — trying to destroy his printing press. And then there was Elijah McCoy, African American inventor and subject of the Black Rep's new production, The Real McCoy
. McCoy was a prolific inventor — more than 57 patents were issued to him during his lifetime — who played a crucial role in keeping the railroads running smoothly in the nineteenth century: he created the device that allowed steam engines to self-lubricate. But McCoy, as a black man living in a racist, segregated society (he was born in 1844), had more than just scientific and engineering challenges to solve. Learn more about this man's triumphs and trials in The Real McCoy
. The play makes its U.S. premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org
). The show continues through Sunday, April 10, and performances are Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $17 to $47.
Wed., March 16; Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 16. Continues through April 10, 2011