Acclaimed theater director George C. Wolfe's made-for-HBO adaptation of Ruben Santiago-Hudson's memory play, which posits life not as a cabaret but as a block party, has a sharp ear for African-American rhythms, musically and dramatically. 1956: Unable to care for her baby, good-time girl Alean (Carmen Ejogo) relies on the help of her childless neighbor, Nanny Crosby (S. Epatha Merkerson). Strung out on drugs and associated with a string of different men, Alean eventually allows Nanny to raise little Ruben (Marcus Franklin) in her boarding house. For Ruben, the permanent nest offers not only stability but exposure to Nanny’s colorful tenants. Although Ruben spends ti...