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 2018-12-12
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Curve of Departure
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Rachel Bonds

At: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.Tickets: 847-673-6300;; $30-$88. Runs through: Oct. 21

This new play, in its regional premiere, puts a lot on the table—probably too much for an 80-minute work—but author Rachel Bonds manipulates it with such warmth, humor and humanity that you don't notice. Perhaps wisely, she doesn't attempt to fully-resolve the issues of family, relationship and choice she raises, but she reveals her four characters to us with skillful directness with which we can empathize.

Rudy, an old man with Alzheimer's, has come from New York to Santa Fe to bury his long-estranged son. He's accompanied by his former daughter-in-law, Linda, now his companion and caregiver. They are joined by grandson/son, Felix, and his affable, tattooed boyfriend, Jackson, who live in Bakersfield, CA. The boys are negotiating Jackson's wish to adopt his neglected and abused two-year old niece, and it threatens their relationship. As the child of a broken marriage himself, Felix creates barriers—legal difficulties, cost, gay parenting within the implied conservatism of Bakersfield—to hide his deeper insecurities. Rudy, preparing to end his own life in a few months over Linda's objections, smooths troubled waters with words of wisdom as the sun rises over the desert on the morning of the funeral.

The roles are evenly distributed among the four characters in this small-scale true ensemble piece, and the Northlight production benefits from four richly heart-felt performances under the astute but relaxed direction of BJ Jones. Playing Rudy, master actor Mike Nussbaum is first among equals, as always. Approaching his 95th birthday, Nussbaum is a force-of-nature who retains all his chops, instincts and remarkable physical vitality. The characters he now plays permit Nussbaum to indulge in some audience-delighting old geezer shtick—sometimes puckish, sometimes cranky—but he knows when to pull it back and give focus to others, both hallmarks of a consummate pro.

His younger companions also are impressive. Penelope Walker ( Linda ), Sean Parris ( Felix ) and Danny Martinez ( Jackson ) create truthful, caring but unsure human beings ( as we all are or should be ). At the end, they cotton to Rudy's almost-elegiac advice to embrace compassion and the future, whatever it may be, even though it requires a leap of faith. We mustn't use the failures of our fathers and grandfathers to create our own limitations, he tells us, and his words resonate with Felix and, particularly, Linda who has the greatest amount to lose in the future.

Walker and Parris are African-American actors, although the script makes no reference to race or biracial relationships. Does the script specify the casting, or is it a choice made for this production? You can't tell, and that's as it should be because it shouldn't matter.

Curve of Departure is played on Lauren Nigri's handsome, roomy hotel room set, redolent of Santa Fe adobe.

facebook twitter pin it 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

The Play That Goes Wrong 2018-12-12 - Playwright: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: . Runs through: Dec. 16. ...

Gay News

Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2018-12-12 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...

Gay News

The Second City 107th Mainstage Revue, Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo 2018-12-11 - Writers: Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Emma Pope, Nate Varrone, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn At: The Second City Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells ...

Gay News

T.R. Knight talks about upcoming 'Dream' role 2018-12-11 - T.R. Knight might still be best known for his five-season run as Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's Grey's Anatomy—and for the infamous 2007 ...

Gay News

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins 2018-12-10 - Author: Michael Daily, from the book by Eric Kimmel At: Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. Tickets:; $20-$25. Runs through: Jan. 5 ...

Gay News

The Santaland Diaries 2018-12-10 - Playwright: Steve Scott, adapted from the essay by David Sedaris At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $15-45; . Runs through: ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-12-10 - Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque, ( Sub )version Productions at Reggie's Music Joint, through Dec. 26. Fan-dancing snowflakes, a glass-eating "Calavera Catrina" and a ...

Gay News

Stomp 2018-12-10 - By: Luke Cresswell and Steve MacNicholas At: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St.. Tickets:; $39-$84. Runs through: Dec. ...

Gay News

Les Miserables comes to Cadillac Palace Theatre July 2019 2018-12-10 - CHICAGO ( December 10, 2018 ) Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg's Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Miserables, will ...

Gay News

Twelfth Night 2018-12-10 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: 847-242-6000;; $35-$80. Runs through: Dec. 16 In Shakespeare's mostly rollicking ...


Copyright © 2018 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.