Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

Social Media home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES                DOWNLOAD PDF ISSUE

Smart moments in theater in 2014
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2014-12-31

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Even if the line of dialogue you couldn't wait to quote after Chris Hainsworth's adaptation of Monstrous Regiment for Lifeline Theatre was "Things couldn't get any worse if it were raining arseholes," a more accurate summary of Chicago theater in 2014 might be "ars victrix"—in English, "art endures."

The year may have been marked by long-existing companies folding their tents and prominent figures in the community departing—some timely, some untimely ( one of the latter name-checked on a major television series barely a month later )—for that Great Greenroom in the Sky, but new artists opened new enterprises in new spaces to ensure that the dynamic experienced only in live performance continued beyond the brief life-spans of those whose lives were dedicated to its creation.

All said, it was a year of ups and downs, sometimes occurring almost side by side. Here are some of both:

Brainy women

THE UPSIDE: Megan Carney's Women At War ( Rivendell ) and George Brandt's Grounded ( American Blues ) broke from wholesome girl-scout and Skyping-mommy stereotypes to depict women in the U.S. Armed Forces as individuals with the same concerns as their male counterparts. THE DOWNSIDE: Sarah Breem's The How and The Why ( Timeline ) presented us with two top-girl scientists still preoccupied with boyfriends and babies, while Philip Dawkins' Miss Marx ( Strawdog ) reduced the daughter of the Socialist Movement to a lovesick damsel undone by an abusive cad.

Big spectacles

THE UPSIDE: Sean Graney's panoramic vision was displayed at its fullest by All Our Tragic, a 12-hour adaptation of all the surviving Greek Tragedies inaugurating the Hypocrites' residency at The Den. THE DOWNSIDE: Meteorological factors sabotaged Red Moon's riverfront Great Chicago Fire pageant and crippled several light boards during the first warm days of summer.

Filial piety

THE UPSIDE: Aaron Posner's adaptation of Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev ( Timeline ) and Ena Lamont Stewart's 1947-vintage Men Should Weep ( Griffin ) made a case for children being creatures to be loved and cherished, while Samuel Hunter's Rest ( Victory Gardens ) did likewise for aged parents. THE DOWNSIDE: Lorelei Sturm's adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper ( The Mill ) and Caitlin Parrish's The Downpour ( Route 66 ) presented us with two horrifying cases of post-partum depression, and Peter Nichols' A Day In the Death of Joe Egg ( Stage Left ) warned of marital stress associated with caring for a severely disabled child.

Smart ensemble teamwork

Foursome Dierdre O'Connell, Caroline Neff, Zoe Perry and Martha Lavey in The Way West ( Steppenwolf ); threesome Kirsten Fitzgerald, Natalie West and Mierka Girten in Mud Blue Sky ( Red Orchid ); and twosomes Darrell Cox and Lia Mortensen in Annapurna ( Profiles ) and Kareem Bandealy and Michael Patrick Thornton in Othello ( Gift Theatre ).

Smart plays

El Incas ( Collectivo el Pozo ), Seminar ( Haven Theatre ), Love Tapes ( The Inconvenience ), From White Plains ( Broken Nose ), Ghost Bike ( Buzz22 ). OLD-SCHOOL DRAMA: King Hedley II ( Congo Square ), Vieux Carré ( Raven ), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning ( Prologue ), Our Class ( Remy Bumpo ). NEW LOOKS AT CLASSICS: Calamity West's Doll's House Project ( Interrobang ) and Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird ( Sideshow ). SPECIAL OLD-TIME RELIGION DIVISION: Jacob ( Provision Theatre ), The Lark ( Promethean ) and Saint Joan ( ShawChicago ).

Smart musical moments

Rebecca Finnegan in Sweeney Todd ( Porchlight ), beefcake Anvil Chorus in Il Trovatore ( Lyric Opera ), clever mash-ups in Dee Snider's Rock and Roll Christmas Tale and the ubiquity of the Vitamin String Quartet as a source of incidental music qualified as cool moments.

Smart directors

Jennifer Markowitz for Hellish Half-Light ( Mary-Arrchie ), Toma Tavares Langston for Dead Man's Cell Phone ( Enthusiasts ) and Matt Hawkins for The Arsonists ( Strawdog ) are this year's honorees.

Smart tech

Check out the Thalidomide Kid painting in Joe Egg ( Stage Left ), sewing machine in Intimate Apparel ( Eclipse ), bicycles in Ghost Bike ( Buzz22 ), fake cigarettes in Ecstasy ( Red Orchid ) and the breakaway wall in Monstrous Regiment ( Lifeline ). SPECIAL STEAMPUNK DIVISION: Jane Eyre ( Lifeline ), Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead ( Promethean ) SPECIAL BOAT-IN-THE-BOTTLE DIVISION: A Tale of Two Cities ( Lifeline ), Crime and Punishment ( Mary-Arrchie ), Great Expectations ( Strawdog ) SPECIAL FLORA AND FAUNA DIVISION: Brutus the fighting fish in The Clean House ( Bluebird ) and Widget the cat in The Lieutenant of Inishmore ( AstonRep )

Smart actors

Kristin E. Ellis in The Inside ( MPAACT ), Frank Nall in The Late Henry Moss ( Artistic Home ), Ron Keaton in Churchill ( SoloChicago ), Chris Walsh in Monstrous Regiment ( Lifeline ) SPECIAL BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY DIVISION: Linda Gillum in Both Your Houses ( Remy Bumppo ) SPECIAL MICHAEL SHANNON STARWATCHER DIVISION: Alex Weisman, Caroline Neff, Dan Waller SPECIAL AARP PIN-UP DIVISION: Dennis Newport in Trafford Tanzi ( Prologue )


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Porter receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame 2022-12-02
- On Dec. 1, award-winning actor/director/singer/playwright Billy Porter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "I'm just so blessed and so grateful to be here," he said, according to KTLA. "James Baldwin said, 'It's an ...


Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week 2022-11-28
- "I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...


Gay News

New York theaters bounce back: Four shows ask questions about identity 2022-11-22
- All theater critics worth their salt should take a bite of the Big Apple now and then, savoring the bright lights of Broadway and a soggy slice of what passes for pizza. On my first visit in nearly three years, Broadway ...


Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance 2022-11-15
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner 2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

Mister International Rubber takes the stage at Center on Halsted, Riviera Theatre 2022-11-07
- The MIR26 (Mister International Rubber) competition took place at the Center on Halsted and the Riviera Theatre over the Nov. 4-6 weekend. Pusckatt Pumera Onyx won the competition. The event was co-emceed by Lucy Stoole and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...


Gay News

Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love' 2022-10-29
- The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Golden Girls' holiday special Nov. 26-Dec. 30 2022-10-27
- Hell in a Handbag Productions is in The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, The Obligatory Holiday Special, playing Nov. 26-Dec. 30 at The Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Dorothy, Rose, ...


Gay News

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' to take place Dec. 22-24 2022-10-26
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. The production will play for six performances on Dec. 22-24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells ...


Gay News

16th Street Theater to close at the end of the year 2022-10-26
- The board of Berwyn's 16th Street Theater announced that the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Equity theater company will close at the end of 2022. A statement read, "For 15 inspiring seasons, plus two years of the pandemic, ...


Gay News

Cody Estle to step down as Raven Theatre artistic director 2022-10-24
- Raven Theatre's board of directors announced that Cody Estle will step down as the company's artistic director at the end of November. Estle has been the company's artistic leader since 2017. He will join Milwaukee's Next ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more 2022-10-24
- —COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...


Gay News

Chicago Theatre Week 2023 to take place Feb. 16-26 2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago—Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW23), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatergoing in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place Feb. 16-26, 2023. ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.