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 2020-09-16
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls
by Steven Chaitman

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Naomi Iizuka. At: Writers' Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. At: The Brown Paper Box Co. at Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: $20; . Runs: through June 16

Life as a twentysomething is pretty crazy. Trust me on that one.

Okay, so maybe you've been there before yourself: that time in life where the future seems objectively endless, but subjectively, nothing for the future is falling into place (or everything is falling into place) (or bits and pieces are falling into place but we're not sure how we feel about those pieces).

Naomi Iizuka's Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, now playing at the Brown Paper Box Co., examines this stage of life as a way to explore larger, existential themes of identity how it evolves over the course of our lifetime.

Although the play incorporates a number of abstract elements, such as characters that change species, it still meshes with the stripped-down production quality of Brown Paper Box Co. The tiny Heartland Studio becomes a box of sorts where time, space and reality are negated, and the only truth is the human experience.

The play begins in New York City following several characters and story lines that all converge or connect over the course of the play. Not an unusual setup, but two actors play both male and female characters and one plays a dog. The relationships that form throughout are temporary at first and then surprising later on. Sexuality proves to be equally as fluid, another way Iizuka illustrates life's lack of permanency.

Most of this eight-person ensemble offers something substantial in this intimate production. Highlights are Christopher Hart as the troubled writer Derek, Pamela Mae Davis as Vivian, a woman who loses everything at once, including her purse, and company member Anna Schutz, who plays the troubled young Billy and bright-eyed Joy. The comedy comes predominantly from Luke Michael Grimes, who is hilarious as both the quirky schoolteacher Myrna and the tense millionaire Richard.

All the characters represent different examples of identity struggle, so at times it can be challenging for the actors to turn them into meaty, interesting characters, especially when so much of the play is philosophy presented through metaphoric action and theoretical dialogue. Things can get too abstract and consequently a tad dull at times, but the production effectively conveys what the playwright offers.

When you're in your 20s, there's always something missing in life; even those who have found fulfillment in one way are missing it in another or are uncertain about it. And when you do make a bold choice to make a change—like moving to Alaska or getting away for a while to Hawaii or Borneo as these characters do—the questions keep coming in other forms. The play's characters all respond to their various emptinesses differently, but none reaches a place of clarity. Ultimately, they must find a path to acceptance, which is the essence of understanding identity.

And who better to perform Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls than young actors pursuing their passion and undoubtedly struggling with some of these same issues in their own lives? The production is a good fit for Chicago, which has seen more than a few twentysomethings flocking toward it, hoping to discover the next steps toward the rest of their lives.

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.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW We're Gonna Die 2020-09-19 - Playwright: Young Jean Lee At: Theatre Y, streaming online at . Ticketsfree. Runs through: Oct. 4 "To be, or ...

Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in fest through Sept. 19 2020-09-16 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pride and Prejudice: A Virtual Play 2020-09-16 - Playwright: Adapted by Christina Calvit from the novel by Jane Austen At: Streaming online at . Tickets: Free with donation. Runs ...

Gay News

'Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret' on Sept. 25, 27 2020-09-12 - Oil Lamp Theater has announced the first event in its Onstage and Outdoors: A Live Performance Series—" Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret." The ...

Gay News

Jeff Awards to be online this fall 2020-09-09 - The 52nd annual Jeff Awards, recognizing theater excellence among Equity theater productions, will be presented this fall as an online program. In preparation ...

Gay News

Closet Play virtual benefit concert leads PrideArts virtual season 2020-09-02 - CHICAGO - PrideArts Artistic Director Donterrio Johnson today announced a four - show virtual fall season called REIGNITE! that will look to the ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Pursuit of Happiness: A BoHo Exploration of Freedom 2020-09-02 - Playwright: Scripted by the artists and curated by Sana Selemon At: Streaming online at Tickets: free with donation . Runs through: Open ...

Gay News

American Blues marking 35 years on Sept. 4 with 'Blue Bash' 2020-08-28 - American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announced the 2021 Blue Bash, a fundraiser celebrating 35 Years Strong. ...

Gay News

Congo Square Theatre Company announces 2020-2021 Season including digital 2020-08-25 - CHICAGO ( August 25, 2020 )—Congo Square Theatre Company ( Congo Square ), one of the nation's premier African American theatres, is proud ...

Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in festival thru Sept. 19 2020-08-22 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...


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.







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      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 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.