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 2020-08-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: Stardust
by JONATHAN ABARBANEL
2005-05-25

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


jonPlaywright: William Massolia, adaptor

At: Griffin Theatre at

Theatre Building Chicago

Phone: ( 773 ) 327-5252; $15-$23

Runs through: June 26

It was a double-header fantasy weekend with consecutive openings of the sci-fi Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe at the House Theatre ( reviewed in this issue ) and Stardust, the first show in a year from Griffin Theatre and the follow-up to their delightful mega-hit Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging. Like that show, Stardust is adapted from a British novel, this time Neil Gaiman's fantasy romance about a young man who's half-mortal and half-fairy ( shades of Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe ) . Straddling the two worlds of his parentage, Tristan completes a classic journey quest through which he earns the love of a fallen star in human form, finds his mother and gains a prince's crown.

Were it not for one discreetly played sex tryst and several scenes of violence and murder, Stardust could be a kids' show ( its length not withstanding ) with fairies, witches, spells, humanoid trees and bibbity-bobbity-boo transformations of man-to-mouse. Whatever was unique, forceful or particularly adult in Gaiman's original novel seems to have fallen by the wayside in William Massolia's adaptation. It's not dull or without charm, it's just that the devices are familiar and the narrative voice lacks distinction or even freshness. Frankly, treating the sex and violence more graphically might have made Stardust far more adult, horrifying and special. As it is, it comes across as superficial storytelling with plenty of literary themes but little emotional depth.

It's not the fault of the company, under director Dorothy Milne ( borrowed from Lifeline Theatre where she's an old hand at the costume genre ) . Given half a chance, they relish the opportunities to play true exaggerations. Vanessa Greenway and Karyn Morris are splendid witches attempting to out-spell each other. Jon Stutzman is delightful in a clever bit of trompe-l'oeil stagecraft as a long-bearded dwarf. A trio of ghosts creates the illusion of things passing through them. Kevin Kingston is a boyishly stalwart and naive hero. Jennifer Grace is an attractive—if shallow—fallen star with a broken leg. Edward Beck is wry as a cranky gatekeeper.

Milne and her designers use a variety of devices, among them masks and puppets, to tell the tale, which is played against a Gorey-esque backdrop of black-and-white trees all spiky, angular and cartoon-like as designed by J Branson. Kevin D. Gawley supplied the skillful lighting. Kimberly G. Morris created the costumes and masks, which colorfully bridge the gap between the Edwardian era of the mortal world and the timeless fairy kingdom.

But it just isn't enough. It's a pleasant fantasy romance—although a bit too long—but not particularly memorable. It's as if Griffin—which earns its meat and potatoes from amazingly successful touring shows for kids—didn't want to go where the material might lead them.


facebook twitter 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

Lookingglass hosting 'Eastland' watch party Aug. 20 2020-08-08
American Blues kicks off reading series Aug. 7 with 'A Shot' 2020-08-06
Fellowship for local Black theater artists announced 2020-08-05
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Alas: A Monologue from Matei Visniec's Cabaret of Words 2020-08-04
About Face Theatre names new associate artistic director 2020-07-29
Greenhouse Theater stops creating shows 2020-07-28
Oil Lamp Theater hosting drive-in premiere Aug. 7 2020-07-25
Ruth Bader Ginsburg exhibit extended 2020-07-24
'Women Take the Stage' concert event Aug. 26 2020-07-23
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Groups of Ten or More People 2020-07-21
'Christmas Bingo: Summer Edition' online through July 2020-07-21
Goodman reimagines summer education 2020-07-21
Fellowship for local Black theater artists announced 2020-07-16
Court's new season: 'Othello,' August Wilson, 'Theatre & Thought' series 2020-07-14
Filament Theatre director stepping down 2020-07-14
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 4, Lockdown! 2020-07-08
Director David Zak steps down from post after community outcry 2020-07-04
Broadway suspends shows through 2020 2020-06-30
'Magic Parlour at Home' during July 2020-06-28
CHF talk to feature Abby McEnany and Samantha Irby 2020-06-24
THEATER Despite everything, there are shows for Pride Week 2020-06-24
Raven Theatre names new managing director 2020-06-24
47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards announces honorees 2020-06-22
'That's Queer, Grandma' June 22-July 6 2020-06-17
COVID-19 Mercury Theater permanently closing 2020-06-17
The Last Sunday in June online live reading June 28 2020-06-16
'Christmas Bingo: Summer Edition' online through July 2020-06-16
Music Box, Kino Lorber hosting film 'Proud' starting June 19 2020-06-16
Sideshow streaming 'Tilikum' June 19 for #LetUsBreathe Collective 2020-06-13
Out professor named NU school dean 2020-06-12
'Come from Away' switched to 2021 2020-06-11
NUNN ON ONE TELEVISION Ariane Labed plays numbers game in 'Trigonometry' 2020-06-10
THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-06-09
SHOWBIZ Ruby Rose, Tamron Hall, actors come out, Billy Porter, Sondheim 2020-06-09
Victory Gardens ED leaving amid rising tensions 2020-06-09
Second City co-owner leaves after theater is charged with racism 2020-06-07
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Cymbeline: A Folk Tale With Music 2020-06-07
47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards postponed 2020-06-03
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Improv House Party 2020-06-03
THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30
 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.