Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-02-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER REVIEW hamlet is dead. no gravity
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Ewald Palmetshofer; Translator: Neil Blackadder. At: Red Tape Theatre at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 621 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets:; $25. Runs through: Feb. 22

On opening night, Red Tape Theatre artistic director Brandon Ray regretfully announced that Neil Blackadder's world premiere English-language translation of Austrian playwright Ewald Palmetshofer's 2007 drama hamlet is dead. no gravity would be the company's last production at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Though it's sad that Red Tape and other theaters apparently won't have access to this very versatile theater space in the future, at least Red Tape exits it with an assured artistic bang.

hamlet is dead. no gravity doesn't feature any characters from Shakespeare's famous tragedy. Yet it does share a high body count at the end and quite a few characters puzzling over matters of life and death.

The production focuses on two siblings, Dani ( Amanda Drinkall ) and Mani ( Alex Stage ), who return to visit their hometown for a school friend's funeral that coincides with their grandmother's 95th birthday. While there, Dani and Mani become greatly unsettled by not only a chance encounter with former friends who are now married, Bine ( Sarah Grant ) and Oli ( Blake Russell ), but by their unhappy parents, Kurt ( John Fenner Mays ) and Caro ( Iona Livingston ).

Presented after the fact, each of the characters grapples to explain his or her side of the story and to reason with themselves in light of the impending/past family horror that is revealed. This all leads to a very fragmentary storytelling structure that forces you to piece it together like a puzzle. Don't be surprised if you still have a few questions knocking about by the end.

To depict Palmetshofer's tragic family implosion, director Seth Bockley and set designer Shawn Ketchum Johnson have created a clinically dark and spare world akin to a laboratory. With harsh florescent lighting by designer Julie Mack, Bockley arranges his actors in artsy patterning that falls somewhere between brilliant and pretentious symbolism.

The performances are uniformly strong in the ensemble, with each actor rightfully trying to edge out the others. Particularly good is the annoyingly ingratiating pleasantries by Grant as Bine and Russell's wry and nonchalant nature as Oli.

Drinkall does a fine job at showing Dani's self-aware shock of her bottled-up feelings of love, while Stage could do a bit more to make the over-thought philosophized rants of Mani more spontaneous.

Livingston's exhaustion is palpably felt as mother Caro, while May's dark mysterious moodiness certainly proves sinister for his take on Kurt.

So what is meant to be taken away from hamlet is dead. no gravity? That chance encounters could set off murderous impulses that have been simmering away for years? That life can be shockingly snuffed out despite one's professed weariness with it all?

Really, the conclusion is up to the individual audience member to make of what they will from the artfully arranged pieces set up by Red Tape Theatre's assured artistic forces.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


THEATER REVIEW Fear and Misery in the Third Reich 2018-02-16
Lesbian teens will attend prom together, Lambda Legal encouraged by response 2018-02-15
The Condition of Femme at Pride Arts Center in March 2018-02-14
Harris Theater presents 2018-19 Mainstage Season with Opera Atelier, English National Ballet 2018-02-14
THEATER New musical spotlights civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin 2018-02-14
THEATER REVIEW Cabaret 2018-02-14
THEATER REVIEW You Got Older 2018-02-14
THEATER REVIEW Jeeves in Bloom 2018-02-14
THEATER REVIEW Skeleton Crew 2018-02-14
THEATER SPOTLIGHT Grindr the Opera 2018-02-14
THEATER Soccer is in play as Goodman kicks off 'The Wolves' 2018-02-14
LuPone at Steppenwolf March 5 2018-02-14
August Wilson contest finals Feb. 26 2018-02-14
THEATER REVIEW Cyrano 2018-02-13
SHOWBIZ Lin-Manuel Miranda, Roxane Gay, 'Wicked,' Britney Spears 2018-02-13
History Lezon fest, nine short plays for Women's History Month 2018-02-12
Of bombs and men: Gender roles subverted in 'We're Gonna Be Okay' 2018-02-07
Critics' Picks 2018-02-07
THEATER REVIEW Nice Girl 2018-02-07
THEATER REVIEW Merrily We Roll Along 2018-02-07
THEATER SPOTLIGHT on Cal in Camo 2018-02-07
THEATER REVIEW The Humans 2018-02-07
THEATER Golden Age Hollywood icons are reborn on the Chicago stage 2018-02-07
'Vagina Melodies' Feb. 16-March 16 2018-02-07
Chicago Theatre Week Feb. 8-18 2018-02-07
SHOWBIZ Zachary Quinto, gay fitness model, Octavia Spencer, Streisand 2018-02-06
NUNN ON ONE THEATER Therese Plaehn unveils 'Human' nature 2018-02-06
NUNN ON ONE THEATER Leo Schwartz takes on Trump with 'We the People' 2018-02-06
About Face Theatre to premiere Time is on Our Side 2018-02-06
Wanda Sykes performs King's 'The Other America' 2018-02-06
Artists mark start of Black History Month at Center on Halsted 2018-02-05
PASSAGES Actor John Mahoney dies at 77 2018-02-05
THEATER REVIEW Women in Jeopardy 2018-02-05
THEATER REVIEW Ragtime: The Musical 2018-02-05
THEATER REVIEW Fifty Shades of Shakespeare 2018-02-02
THEATER REVIEW Blind Date 2018-02-02
Kingdom, about an all-LGBTQ African American family, to premiere in March 2018-02-02
Birds of a Feather to premiere at Greenhouse Theater 2018-01-31
Timeline's 'Boy' offers transformative look at gender identity 2018-01-31
THEATER REVIEW All My Sons 2018-01-31

Copyright © 2018 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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.