Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-04-29
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: Suspension Of Disbelief
2004-07-07

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: John Linton Roberson

At: Theater O' The Absurd at the Chicago Actor's Studio, 1567 N.

Milwaukee Ave.

Phone: (773) 419-5001; $12-$15

Runs through: July 11

BY MARY SHEN BARNIDGE

'I'm thrilled that ... I finally get to inflict this truly evil play upon you, the innocent public,' says playwright John Linton Roberson in the promotion for this Theatre O' The Absurd production. Written in 1989, the text reveals its age through its references ('Can't we do this by FAX?' pleads a character, e-mail being as yet the stuff of science fiction). Bret Ellis Easton and Three's Company are also mentioned. Youthful exuberance is likewise reflected in a scenario featuring anti-establishment values, cartoon-broad characters, salty language, gratuitous violence, loud offstage noises and people saying 'Shut Up!' a lot.

But Roberson was no Billy Birmingham, despite Suspension Of Disbelief's homage to Torso Theatre (an actor's resumé lists Isadora Duncan Sleeps With The Russian Navy). Though every American dramatist's canon eventually includes a show-business-is-full-of-greedheads diatribe, the Roberson of 15 years ago was a rube writing for other rubes, the targets of his mockery—drama critics, literary agents, actors, directors, lawyers, movie producers, career women—overxeroxed copies of philistines portrayed in greater detail by artists intimately acquainted with the enemy. At its roots, Suspension of Disbelief is little different from its own McGuffin—a script steeped in the adolescent male fantasies of a proudly self-centered hero with an unyielding sense of entitlement and a tendency to whine when thwarted.

Roberson serves his material no better as a director, encouraging otherwise capable actors to a frenzied hysteria that depletes their energies—and ours—too quickly for a show with a 105-minute first act. Some of the performers—notably, Pepper Giese, Brian Sichelle and Greg Moonen—infuse their shallow personae with a modicum of depth through sheer technique. But their efforts cannot redeem a venture ill-advised from the outset, where half the audience on the night I attended were company 'plants' mandated by the author's play-within-a-play narrative conceit (another generic rite of passage).

'This isn't theatre! This is WAR!' declares our protagonist. But to proceed into battle with outmoded weapons is to court failure. And in THAT lesson lies the sole justification for exhumation of this classroom exercise.


facebook twitter del.icio.us 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

The Bloodhound Law 2015-04-29
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-04-29
Theater news: 'East of Eden' cast; Wonka Ball raises $60K 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW A Funny Thing Happened... 2015-04-29
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT The scene in Texas 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW Sounds So Sweet 2015-04-29
THEATER REVIEW Lips Together, Teeth Apart 2015-04-29
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Raul Castillo: From 'Lampshade' to 'Looking' 2015-04-29
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Breaking it down with singer-activist Lila Downs 2015-04-29
Gender Fusions explores the 'Galaxy' 2015-04-28
Noel Coward's Design for Living part of Pride Films & Plays season 2015-04-28
42nd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards announces 118 nominations 2015-04-24
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT 'Look'-ing at Laura Jacqmin's production 2015-04-22
THEATER REVIEW Carousel 2015-04-22
THEATER REVIEW The Grown-Up 2015-04-22
THEATER REVIEW Between You, Me and the Lampshade 2015-04-22
THEATER REVIEW Billy Elliot 2015-04-22
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-04-22
The Bitchfest Club: A New Musical 2015-04-21
THEATER REVIEW The Herd 2015-04-21
Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members reunite for new season 2015-04-20
THEATER REVIEW The Bird Feeder Doesn't Know 2015-04-15
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Eclipse focuses on McNally 2015-04-15
Upcoming: Steppenwolf gala; Sculpture exhibit 2015-04-15
THEATER REVIEW An Issue of Blood: An Historical Parable 2015-04-15
THEATER REVIEW Murder Ballad 2015-04-15
THEATER REVIEW The Upstairs Concierge 2015-04-15
THEATER Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson talk 'The Good Book' 2015-04-15
NUNN ON ONE Cody Jamison Strand plays it by the 'Book' 2015-04-15
Critics' Picks and Theater Spotlight: Down the Moonlit Path 2015-04-14
Steppenwolf, About Face host festive events 2015-04-14
Writers Theatre presents "Doubt: A Parable" 2015-04-14
THEATER REVIEW The Good Book 2015-04-08
THEATER REVIEW Travesties 2015-04-08
THEATER REVIEW Graveyard of Empires 2015-04-08
COMEDY Joel McHale talks Indiana, working out 2015-04-07
THEATER REVIEW Title and Deed 2015-04-07
Theater spotlight: Highballers; Critics' Picks 2015-04-07
Blue and view: Wade Elkins part of famed troupe 2015-04-07
Nationally known comics to celebrate progressive comedians 2015-04-07
 



Copyright © 2015 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
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

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      Post 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.