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 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: The Frogs
2007-05-09

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


The Frogs. Photo by Michael Brosilow

____

Playwright: Adapted by Burt Shevelove and Nathan Lane, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, from the play by Aristophanes

At: Pegasus Players at the O'Rourke Center of Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson

Phone: 773-878-9761; $15-$25

Runs through: June 3

BY MARY SHEN BARNIDGE

Aristophanes' satirical comedy, The Frogs, premiered at the Athens Lenaian Festival circa 450 B.C. Stephen Sondheim and Bert Shevelove's musical version premiered at the Yale Drama School with an amphibious chorus representing the title characters in 1974. Pegasus Players found this concept a natural fit for their quarters in 1988, a proposed revival in 2004 scuttled by Nathan Lane's adaptation of Shevelove's original text, with several new Sondheim songs added, for New York's Lincoln Center. But all that you need to know about the production currently running until June 3 is that it's staged in a swimming pool.

The first row of seats comprises rubber cushions where willing playgoers can perch with feet dangling in the water ( no kicking, now ) . The second row is for spectators keeping their shoes on, but still prey to a little splashback at the deep end as chorus members tuck-dive into the watery depths. ( Actors' exits present no problem—as soon as someone finishes speaking, into the drink he or she goes. ) Further blurring the fourth wall, as well as compensating somewhat for the acoustics in a room never designed for declamatory exhibitions, is the characters' propensity for stalking the narrow perimeter of the natatorium to interact with their audience.

It's not only a stunt show, however: The quest of Dionysos, patron god of the theater, to save a world in danger of becoming as rigidly conformist as a colony of frogs is a heroic one. And the climactic duel of words between George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare, resurrected from the dead, is imbued with still-timely arguments on the disparate influences of intellect and emotion in keeping the peace. That the debaters make their cases from rafts propelled by the sensual sybarites of Pluto's Retreat does not diminish the seriousness of their discourse—well, not much.

Jay Paul Skelton directs a 21-member cast led by Steven Marzolf and John Francisco in the roles of Dionysos and his mischievous sidekick Xanthias, featuring verbally deft performances by Matthew Holzfeind and Brendan Marshall-Rashid as, respectively, Shaw and Shakespeare. The real stars of the show, however, are the water-treading vocalists who warble in unwavering harmony whether paddling gracefully with hardly a surface ripple or attacking a terrified voyager in a furious swarm of red-and-black wetsuits and incognito swim-goggles. Ribbit!


facebook twitter pin it 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

Digital lottery, rush tickets for 'Fiddler' 2019-02-02
Firebrand Theatre Announces Casting for Chicago Premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST 2019-01-21
New authors take on hard-hitting subjects at Playwrights Festival 2019-01-16
Fillet of Solo Storytelling Fest, Archy Jamjun, A Boy & A Diva Jan. 18, 25 2019-01-16
'Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2019-01-16
Groundbreaking 'I AM... Fest' April 27-29 2019-01-16
Johnson/Nash book release party Jan. 31 2019-01-16
OUT on Stage' Jan. 17 on Dekkoo 2019-01-16
18th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival line-up named 2019-01-16
'Nina Simone' through March 2 2019-01-16
NUNN ON ONE Kristina Valada-Viars: Out actress discusses lengthy career 2019-01-16
Aaron Alexander on being part of the 'Hamilton' ensemble 2019-01-16
THEATER REVIEW St. Nicholas 2019-01-16
Theater Spotlight on Saltine 2019-01-16
Critics' Picks 2019-01-16
THEATER REVIEW I Call My Brothers 2019-01-16
Auditorium offering free tickets to furloughed workers 2019-01-15
Carol Channing dies at 97 2019-01-15
LGBTQ performance of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" one night Feb. 9 2019-01-15
Broadway's Corey Cott, Mikaela Bennett to lead Lyric Opera's West Side Story 2019-01-12
Victory Gardens Theater to premiere If I Forget 2019-01-11
Hell in a Handbag presents Golden Girls, The Lost episodes, Valentine edition 2019-01-09
Novelist's fascination with history comes alive on stage 2019-01-09
About Face heats January with 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' 2019-01-08
Critics' Picks 2019-01-08
'OUT on Stage' Jan. 17 on Dekkoo 2019-01-08
Haven Theatre, About Face Theatre to present The Total Bent 2019-01-08
OUTspoken! monthly LGBTQ storytelling series Jan. 8 2019-01-03
Gary Sinise book event Feb. 18 2019-01-02
'Dada Woof' cast announced 2019-01-02
La Ruta 2019-01-01
The best of Chicago theater (part two) 2019-01-01
Sketch Comedy Festival sets line-up 2019-01-01
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater has new site, leadership changes 2019-01-01
Chicago theatres ring in 2019 2018-12-28
THEATER FEATURE The best of Chicago theater (part one) 2018-12-26
Barney the Elf 2018-12-26
Critics' Picks 2018-12-26
SPOTLIGHT on Fantastic Mr. Fox 2018-12-26
10 Questions with Vic: Ed Asner 2018-12-26
 



Copyright © 2019 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 Bi-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.