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 2017-08-23
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  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

Cinema/Chicago, Chicago International Film Festival roll out roster of films 2017-08-23
Jeff Awards Equity nominations honor outstanding 2016-2017 productions 2017-08-23
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT LGBTQ military musicals 2017-08-23
THEATER REVIEW The Fly Honey Show 2017-08-23
THEATER REVIEW Sister Africa 2017-08-23
THEATER REVIEW Machinal 2017-08-23
Critics' Picks 2017-08-23
THEATER REVIEW Trevor the Musical 2017-08-23
Theater Spotlight on comedy shows 2017-08-23
"Upstairs: The Musical" remembers gay bar tragedy 2017-08-23
Broadway in Chicago holds annual summer show in new venue 2017-08-23
Sedaris, Ginsburg, Ailey dancers part of Auditorium's season 2017-08-16
THEATER REVIEW Engage! 2017-08-16
THEATER REVIEW Monticello 2017-08-16
THEATER REVIEW The Food Show 2017-08-16
THEATER Critics' Picks 2017-08-16
THEATER REVIEW HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical 2017-08-16
THEATER SPOTLIGHT Gypsy 2017-08-16
George Takei in Chicago on Sept. 7 2017-08-16
'Cards Against Humanity' Aug. 25 2017-08-16
'Bewildered' cast announced 2017-08-16
'Yippie Fest' Aug. 18-20 2017-08-16
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT A musical 'Trevor' project 2017-08-09
The Fair Maid of the West 2017-08-09
THEATER REVIEW In the Wake 2017-08-09
THEATER REVIEW Last Dancer Standing (More Than Hip-Hop) 2017-08-09
THEATER REVIEW Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2017-08-09
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Directing diversity 2017-08-02
THEATER REVIEW An Octoroon 2017-08-02
THEATER REVIEW Brave Like Them 2017-08-02
THEATER REVIEW An American in Paris 2017-08-02
Theater spotlight on An Evening of Magic 2017-08-02
Critics' pics 2017-08-02
THEATER REVIEW Fight City 2017-08-02
THEATER REVIEW Triassic Parq: The Musical 2017-08-02
Dance for Life Aug. 19 2017-08-02
'Chad Deity' Aug. 15-Sept. 16 2017-08-02
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Dani Shay soldiers on in 'Albert Cashier' 2017-08-02
NUNN ON ONE: ENTERTAINMENT Tristan Tom spreads pride through puppetry 2017-08-01
Cinema/Chicago honors Jane Fonda 2017-07-31
 



Copyright © 2017 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

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.