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 2015-07-29
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

At the Flash
THEATER REVIEW Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2012-11-21

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


Playwright: Sean Chandler and David Leeper. At: Pride Films and Plays at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 800-838-3006; www.brownpapertickets.com; $21-$25. Runs through: Dec. 16

There's not many gay bars that can boast of having stayed open continuously for 40 years. Co-playwrights Sean Chandler and David Leeper propose such an oasis, operating under the same name from the shadowy 1960s to the out-and-proud 2010s, its clientele over the decades representing a history of gay life in America. In this one-man show, Leeper assumes the role of performer to acquaint us with five of the ambassadors we would likely encounter at The Flash.

The Flash, you see, wasn't always the palatial gateway to the LGBT community, introduced at the beginning of the play on the occasion of its 2012 grand reopening, attended by mainstream press (some tracing its roots to neighborhood-guide handouts) in addition to owner Rod Mahoney's committed partner and their adopted daughter. Ah, but as our host fusses over preparations for the event, ghostly figures from the past emerge to remind us of the changes occurring just outside the doors of this sanctuary.

We meet blue-collar Richard in the 1960s, torn between love for his family and guilty forays into the darkness of back-room sex. In the 1970s, we hear transgender Miss Sparkle exhort her cross-dressing sisters to appreciate the tolerance enjoyed within The Flash's safe confines. During the 1980s, party-boy Derrick clings to the hedonistic lifestyle in a stubborn attempt to ignore the growing threat of AIDS. ("I came out just in time for a plague!" he laments.) Finally, the 1990s find schoolteacher Mona, devastated by her lesbian lover's lonely death in a hospital only permitting "relatives" to visit, crusading for marital and filial rights.

Their progress is not presented in chronological order, but in a kaleidoscopic mosaic requiring Leeper to switch back and forth between characters with often less than a sentence for the transition. Under the direction of David Zak, however, the vividly etched portraits never disintegrate into caricature, but remain distinct and immediately recognizable throughout the show's brief 80 minutes of playing time.

The stories make for an engaging and surprisingly epic narrative, and although none can be said to end happily—contented, perhaps, or resolute, but hardly cheery—there is empowerment in surveying the accomplishments of the outsiders who congregated for recreation, but grew to lead a social revolution. Did YOU anticipate the importance of YOUR own first step into a gay bar?


facebook twitter pin it 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

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Pop porn 2015-07-29
Shakespeare in the Parks thru Aug. 16 2015-07-29
THEATER REVIEW A Perfect Ganesh 2015-07-29
THEATER REVIEW Bette! Live at the Continental Baths 2015-07-29
THEATER REVIEW Loving Repeating 2015-07-29
THEATER REVIEW Grand Concourse 2015-07-29
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-07-29
Louisiana comedian Jen Kober coming to The Den Theatre 2015-07-29
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Mark Burrell is steppin' in 'Pippin' 2015-07-28
Salve Regina: A Coming of Gay Story at Center in August 2015-07-28
These Boots Are Made for Working 2015-07-23
Chaz Bono on stage in "Down the Road" in LA 2015-07-23
Upcoming: Theater 2015-07-22
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT About Face takes 'Breaths,' marks anniversary 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Men of Soul 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Whatever 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Take Me Back 2015-07-22
NUNN ON ONE Sandra Bernhard: Feeling '#blessed' 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Grand Concourse 2015-07-22
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-07-22
Entertainment: Jennifer Hudson; Lee Daniels; Margaret Cho; Thomas Roberts 2015-07-21
Loving Repeating musical tribute to author Gertrude Stein 2015-07-20
Piccolo's 2015/2016 season opens With local playwright adaptation 2015-07-17
Step Up Productions announces 2015-16 season 2015-07-17
Macbeth cast announced 2015-07-16
THEATER REVIEW Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Musical 2015-07-15
THEATER REVIEW Brilliant Adventures 2015-07-15
THEATER REVIEW Kinky Boots 2015-07-15
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-07-15
THEATER REVIEW Bard Fiction 2015-07-14
Court Theatre opens season with August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean 2015-07-13
Trap Door Season announces 2015/2016 season 2015-07-12
OUTspoken! LGBT Storytelling at Sidetrack celebrating one year 2015-07-10
Sandra Oh, Andre De Shields in Victory Gardens Theater Ignition Festival 2015-07-09
Coffee table book reveals world of burlesque 2015-07-09
DANCIN' FEATS A closer look at 'Queer, Ill & Okay' 2015-07-08
THEATER REVIEW Beaches 2015-07-08
THEATER REVIEW Bent 2015-07-08
THEATER REVIEW Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike 2015-07-08
AIA exec Zurich Esposito living out childhood dream 2015-07-07
 



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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

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.