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 2015-10-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


THEATER The Great God Pan
by Mary Shen Barnidge

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Playwright: adapted by Charley Sherman

from the novella by Arthur Machen

At: WildClaw Theatre Company at

the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport

Phone: 773-935-6860; $20

Runs through: March 30

Arthur Machen's 1890 novella deserves its place among the prototypes for the next century of horror fiction, ranking alongside the classic shockers of H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. But Machen's liberal invocation of themes associated with the so-called 'decadent' art of the late 19th century—a movement identified with Oscar Wilde and his compatriots—soon contributed to its eclipse by his more conservative peers.

Playwright Charley Sherman is still remembered in Chicago for his award-winning page-to-stage adaptations of contemporary creep-lit authors, and his rendition of this period thriller is laudable for its roster of elements associated with the genre: esoteric cult-worship, gloomy abandoned houses, gruesome unnatural deaths, masquerade balls attended by licentious guests, strolls through the fleshpots of fin-de-siécle London, innocent virgins strapped to surgical tables, callow youths driven to ruin by femmes extremely-fatales ( reflecting the gilded age's fear and fascination with the notion of uninhibited sexuality—especially in women ) and, of course, gallons of lovingly-replicated gore.

Forging a concise dramatic through-line from the retrospective, largely epistolary, narrative structure then in vogue is no easy task. ( Consider, for example, the extensive reconfigurations of Bram Stoker's Dracula or Gaston Leroux' The Phantom of the Opera into the familiar legends we know today. ) But even in its final preview performance, all evidence pointed toward Sherman's text being well on its way to providing us a single hero and villain confronting one another in a linear progression, thus allowing us to see the serial killer at work, rather than experiencing our lurid shivers by means of diluted after-the-fact accounts.

The actors assembled for this WildClaw Theatre Company production were likewise near to achieving fulfillment of their nowadays often-trivialized roles: Assisted by Elise Kauzlaric's superlative dialect instruction, Tom Hickey makes a suitably buttoned-up skeptic to Lily Mojekwu's sensual mystic. Steve Herson projects conviction in the role of the technologist unable to cope with moral ambiguity, as does J. David Moeller's elderly witness whose testimony frames our story, along with an ensemble of actors and designers—in particular, Adam Kozlowski's sound, Allison Greaves' costumes and Ryan Oliver's 'biological effects.' Together, they transform what could have been merely a quaint study of prudish Victorian intolerance into a timely lesson for audiences today.

facebook twitter 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.


Northlight Theatre takes audiences to 'Charm' school 2015-10-07
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Creating 'Charm' 2015-10-07
Upcoming theater: 'Avenue Q'; 'Honeymoon' 2015-10-07
THEATER REVIEW East of Eden 2015-10-07
THEATER REVIEW Sucker Punch 2015-10-07
THEATER REVIEW Scream, Queen, Scream! 2015-10-07
THEATER REVIEW A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2015-10-07
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-10-07
BOOKS Read this! Chatting with 'I Hope My Mother...' author Greg Scarnici 2015-10-07
THEATER All Girl Dracula: Interview with the vampire and a director 2015-10-07
Upcoming: Dance judge to host event; 50 States; fusion dance concert; Katrina play 2015-10-06
THEATER REVIEW Love and Information 2015-10-06
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Matt Leisy: A perfect 'Gentleman' 2015-10-06
Newly eligible theaters take Equity Jeff awards 2015-10-05
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT A 'Marvin's Room' milestone 2015-09-30
THEATER REVIEW Disgraced 2015-09-30
THEATER REVIEW Miss Buncle's Book 2015-09-30
THEATER REVIEW Funnyman 2015-09-30
THEATER REVIEW Gem of the Ocean 2015-09-30
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-09-30
Charm play features look at transgender charm school 2015-09-29
Chicago Humanities Fest presents Four Women: Josephine, Eartha, Nina and Tina 2015-09-24
THEATER REVIEW The Revel 2015-09-23
Theater: Now on stage and soon to open 2015-09-23
Jane Lynch dates rescheduled 2015-09-23
Chicago Theater still thrives, still evergreen 2015-09-23
THEATER REVIEW Dogfight 2015-09-23
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-09-23
THEATER REVIEW The Tempest 2015-09-23
THEATER REVIEW Side Show 2015-09-23
THEATER REVIEW The Producers 2015-09-23
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Silk Road's many strands 2015-09-23
Harris Theater: World premiere with Renee Fleming, Patricia Barber 2015-09-22
Alexandra Billings to headline PFP's Simply Sensational Benefit 2015-09-22
Victory Gardens Theater launches Directors Inclusion Initiative 2015-09-18
Trans rally at movie theater Sept. 20 2015-09-18
FALL THEATER SPECIAL Premieres galore 2015-09-16
THEATER REVIEW Katrina: Mother-in- Law of 'em All 2015-09-16
THEATER REVIEW American Idiot 2015-09-16
THEATER REVIEW How the World Began 2015-09-16

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.








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.