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 2017-06-28
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 Good Person Of Setzuan
2007-07-11

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


Playwright: Bertolt Brecht

At: Big Picture Group at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport

Phone: 773-935-6860; $10-$15

Runs through: July 29

BY MARY SHEN BARNIDGE

Don't be fooled by the title. Pre-revolutionary China's remote Szechwan province has no more to do with Bertolt Brecht's 1943 play than Prohibition-era Chicago with Happy End or the Hundred Years' War with Mother Courage. His heroine—the young prostitute, Shen Te, whose kindness toward the incognito 'Illustrious Ones' is rewarded by money enabling her to abandon her sordid career and open a small shop—suffers the same trials as businesswomen the world over. No sooner does she adopt a 'legitimate' lifestyle than she is beset by a hoard of swindlers, beggars and assorted freeloaders, including the obligatory handsome-but-shiftless boyfriend, so that she is forced to adopt an alternative identity—the ruthless male cousin, Shui Ta—to deal with these parasitic oppressors.

Unlike the Illustrious Ones, however, the real stars of this Big Picture Group production are never seen by the audience. They are the engineers—in particular, video designer Andrew Schneider, sound designer David Getzin and lighting designer Margaret Hartmann—who keep the high-tech effects coming with dazzling precision to make the most of a nearly-bare stage dominated by a barricade of television monitors locating us environmentally and thematically, flanked by a blank wall on which nocturnal visions are projected. Also contributing hugely to the kaleidoscopic ambience are Erin Liston's anime-based costumes; Daphne McCoy and Shannon Welling's Bollywood/hip-hop dance choreography; and whoever keeps the batteries recharged in the toy cars that convey the Celestial Messengers onstage.

With such abundant mechanical and conceptual spectacles, you'd almost think actors would be extraneous. But Brecht's didactic lehrst├╝cke requires more than clever special effects for successful rehydration, and director Roger Bechtel is lucky to have in his cast Simone Roos playing the long-suffering Shen Te/Shui Ta, along with Beth Stelling as Wang the water-seller, who guides us through our story with irrepressible charm from the moment that she pops out from the video-grid like a mischievous elf ( though Jeremy Schaefer wins our hearts in the role of Shu Fu, the lovestruck butcher come a-courting ) . Assisted by an ensemble of uniform exuberance, if varying expertise, they command our intellectual and emotional attention throughout this lesson in capitalistic economics and establishment-approved theology right up to its predictably pessimistic conclusion, at which time Wang challenges us to find a solution to the destructive unhappiness engendered by poverty. Well? Have you got one?


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

THEATER REVIEW Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night 2017-06-28
THEATER REVIEW Late Company 2017-06-28
THEATER REVIEW London Assurance 2017-06-28
CRITICS'PICKS 2017-06-28
THEATER REVIEW MacBeth 2017-06-28
Theater Spotlight 2017-06-28
The Golden Girls, The Lot Episodes, extended through Aug. 26 2017-06-21
Kathy Bates to headline Oct. 2 event 2017-06-21
THEATER REVIEW Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies 2017-06-21
THEATER REVIEW Native Gardens 2017-06-21
THEATER REVIEW The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes 2017-06-21
CRITICS'PICKS 2017-06-21
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER 'The King and' Kavin Panmeechao 2017-06-21
LGBTQ drama through July 16 2017-06-21
'Nuns in Charge' through July 16 2017-06-21
Lookingglass ED Kraft to exit 2017-06-21
Spotlight on Gaywatch 2017-06-21
THEATER REVIEW Pass Over 2017-06-21
Biker-club play through June 28 2017-06-21
ATC play explores Kerrigan/Harding 2017-06-21
Milly's Orchid Show '29 Years and Holdin' July 29 2017-06-21
Sedaris, Ginsburg, Ailey dancers part of Auditorium's season 2017-06-21
Journey To The Center Of Pride at Annoyance Theater after the Pride Parade 2017-06-21
Entertainment news: Male model comes out, Laverne Cox, Mariah Carey 2017-06-20
Pride Arts Center hosts pre-Pride Parade breakfast, rally Sunday, June 25 2017-06-20
Museum event on science of sex June 20 2017-06-16
Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay! at Center on Halsted July 9 2017-06-14
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Bullying blame 2017-06-14
THEATER REVIEW Ragtime 2017-06-14
THEATER REVIEW Her Majesty's Will 2017-06-14
THEATER REVIEW Pilgrims 2017-06-14
Critics' Picks 2017-06-14
NUNN ON ONE Alexandra Billings talks 'Transparent,' tunes and Caitlyn 2017-06-14
'Evan Hansen' prevails at Tonys 2017-06-14
THEATER REVIEW Naked Boys Singing! 2017-06-14
Theater Spotlight on SHADE: An ACTUALLY Diverse Comedy Show 2017-06-13
Dan Savage in Chicago June 15 2017-06-13
'Out to Climb' pride event June 13 2017-06-11
Naked Boys Singing! through July 1 2017-06-08
THEATER Summer stock and Shakespeare under the stars 2017-06-07
 



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.