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 2017-01-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Sign of the Four
THEATER REVIEW
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2011-06-08

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


Playwright: adapted by Terry McCabe from the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. At: City Lit Theater at Edgewater. Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr. Phone: 773-293-3682; $25. Runs through: July 3

Page-to-stage translations of material dating from a time when print comprised the sole vehicle for mass communication are often difficult to bring off. Take, for example, this second in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's series featuring his master detective, Sherlock Holmes: Our plot begins with Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, approached by an orphaned governess seeking the identity of an anonymous benefactor who may also harbor a grudge against her now-deceased father. Holmes is intrigued by the intellectual challenge, Watson is smitten by the winsome supplicant and both vow to solve the mystery.

After encountering an array of eccentric personalities from all levels of Victorian London's social spectrum, as well as a brush with a locked-room murder involving exotic weapons and a thrilling boat-chase on the Thames in pursuit of their quarry, they capture the culprit responsible for these bizarre events. In a play conceived as a play, this would conclude the dramatic action, leaving only a short epilogue for Holmes to revel in his success and Watson to declare his romantic intentions. Doyle, however, insists on the perpetrator of the fatal crimes first revealing the circumstances leading up to his arrest.

A full 30 minutes of straightforward second-act exposition conducted among three men seated in a parlor presents no problems in prose, but can seem like an eternity in live-performance time. Fortunately, Terry McCabe's adaptation provides us visual interest as the facts are brought to light, by means of the personnel figuring in the miscreant's confession silently and simultaneously acting his serpentine yarn of stolen riches, thwarted plans, prison colonies and blood oaths. Thus are playgoers of non-literary bent relieved from protracted verbal discourse.

This device will prove unnecessary for whodunit fans, Victorian Lit aficionados and Sherlock Holmes groupies (an audience base numbering in the millions). Let's not forget, either, the drawing power of Don Bender, repeating for the third time his portrayal of the supersleuth, ably flanked by Jerry Bloom as the phlegmatic Dr. Watson (stepping into the role vacated by the late Will Schutz), who together evade cliché to infuse their familiar personae with fresh nuance. A sturdy supporting company and clever low-budget technical effects—notably James Ogden's astonishingly versatile turntable—also guarantee an entertaining evening for City Lit first-timers.


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 The Sundial 2017-01-18
THEATER REVIEW Her America 2017-01-18
Theater spotlight on Chicago Children's Theatre, Critics' Picks 2017-01-18
Wayne Brady joining 'Hamilton' 2017-01-18
Goodman to light up new marquee 2017-01-18
National comedy benefit Jan. 19-21 2017-01-18
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL The winter classics: Old and not-so-old 2017-01-18
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL World and local premieres abound 2017-01-18
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL LGBT plays to chase away the darkness 2017-01-18
VideoOut hosts story-sharing event 2017-01-18
Charles Busch in Chicago Jan. 29-30 2017-01-18
GayCo to present Cntrl+Alt-Right+Delete 2017-01-17
NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY Jeremy Ashley Owens riffs on Cher and being ridiculous 2017-01-16
Local theaters to participate in The Ghostlight Project 2017-01-14
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Before Stonewall 2017-01-11
THEATER REVIEW Women 2017-01-11
THEATER REVIEW Tony and Tina's Wedding 2017-01-11
THEATER REVIEW The Rosenkranz Mysteries 2017-01-11
Theater Spotlight on Fillet of Solo, Critics' Picks 2017-01-11
'Gender Breakdown' Feb. 16-March 19 2017-01-11
(Beat) play to benefit homeless 2017-01-11
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Legend Honey West does Priscilla in Chicago 2017-01-11
National comedy benefit Jan. 19-21 2017-01-11
THEATER REVIEW Vanya (Or, 'That's Life!') 2017-01-10
About Face Theatre appoints Alana Parvey Zalas managing director 2017-01-09
Fifty Shades of Shakespeare At Mary's Atticin February 2017-01-06
Chicago D(ART) to present David Rush's Police Deaf Near Far 2017-01-06
Chicago LGBTQ story collection day Jan. 15 at Center on Halsted 2017-01-04
Activist discusses her work, music and hopes for the future 2017-01-04
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Exploring masculinity 2017-01-04
THEATER REVIEW Thrones! The Musical Parody 2017-01-04
THEATER REVIEW Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth 2017-01-04
THEATER REVIEW The Winner ... of Our Discontent 2017-01-04
OPERA REVIEW The Magic Flute 2017-01-04
Theater Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2017-01-04
What a Joke national comedy fest responds to Trump threats to human rights 2017-01-02
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Reflecting on 2016 2016-12-28
THEATER REVIEW The Weir 2016-12-28
THEATER REVIEW The Phantom of the Opera 2016-12-28
THEATER REVIEW Honky Tonk Angels 2016-12-28
 



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
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.