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 2019-08-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DOUBLE REVIEW Wit, The Baltimore Waltz
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-01-31

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


DOUBLE REVIEW

Wit

Playwright: Margaret Edson. At: The Hypocrites at Den Theatre Heath Main Stage, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: The-Hypocrites.com; $36. Runs through: Feb. 19

The Baltimore Waltz

Playwright: Paula Vogel. At: Brown Paper Box Co. at The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave. Tickets: 800-838-3006 or BrownPaperBox.org; $20. Runs through: Feb. 19

Terminal illness usually isn't a laughing matter. But two Pulitzer Prize-winning lesbian playwrights found ways of injecting welcome humor into life-and-death situations into plays now being revived in Chicago.

Brown Paper Box Co. explores an absurdist AIDS analogy in Paula Vogel's 1992 play The Baltimore Waltz at The Frontier. Meanwhile, ovarian cancer strikes at the frightened heart and analytical head of a stern English professor in The Hypocrites' thoughtful take on Margaret Edson's 1998 drama Wit at the Den Theatre.

If asked to catch only one of the two, I'd advise Wit. The Hypocrites needs plenty of support since the critically acclaimed theater company decided to cancel the rest of its season due to unexpected financial difficulties. More vital is the fact that Wit is by far a more heart-wrenchingly moving play and The Hypocrites' strong production approaches the transcendental.

In the leading role of Dr. Vivian Bearing, the ill professor who specializes in the metaphysical poetry of John Donne, Lisa Tejero is a marvel at commanding the stage. Tejero functions as both a first-person narrator looking at the indignities and humor of hospital life, and as a character weighted with questions about her past and what lies ahead through the pain of cancer treatments.

Director Marti Lyons stages Wit in the round, and has diversely cast the production with a top-notch ensemble to emphasize the universality of the play's end-of-life themes. Lovely production flourishes come in the form of Michael Stanfill's often antiseptic lighting design and Rasean Davonte Johnson's throbbing projections of Donne's poetry.

There are also projections in director Edward Rutherford's intimate take on The Baltimore Waltz. But these incongruent vacation slides are meant to prod audiences to question Vogel's script itself.

The Baltimore Waltz follows schoolteacher Anna ( Jenna Schoppe ) and her gay librarian brother, Carl ( Paul Michael Thomas ), as they tour ( and both get promiscuous ) around Europe one last time. Anna learns from a doctor ( Justin Harner, playing multiple roles ) that she has contracted a rare terminal disease from sharing toilet seats with children, and she must grapple with the implications of that bizarre twist of fate.

With The Baltimore Waltz, it's as if Vogel was writing out a parallel absurdist world full of humor to deal with the horror of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and '90s. Unfortunately, Rutherford's young cast isn't as technically skilled with European accents or comic inflections to fully illuminate the simultaneous lightness and gravity of Vogel's script.

In our troubled political times, these illness-inspired plays of Vogel and Edson aren't exactly escapist fare. But thanks to the smart sense of humor found in both works, they're very worth your while.


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

Gay News

Invictus Announces 2019-20 Season 2019-08-20 - CHICAGO— Invictus Theatre, a theater company that emerged in November 2017 with an intimate production of OTHELLO and followed it with Shakespeare's comedy ...


Gay News

The Camino Project, an experiment in travel 2019-08-20 - Far removed from the constructs of your typical theater experience, Theatre Y evokes participation, both physical and emotional. The Camino Project is an ...


Gay News

David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries" returns to Goodman Theatre 2019-08-20 - ( Chicago, IL ) Goodman Theatre announces the return of The Santaland Diaries—a "funny, sardonic, wickedly funny look at the traditions and trappings ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2019-08-20 - Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz; Book: Peter Parnell At: Music Theater Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston. Tickets: 847-920-5360 or ...


Gay News

Kinley Preston previews Lips Chicago dinner theater 2019-08-16 - Lips, billed as "the ultimate in drag dining," is locating its fifth location in Chicago. The South Loop venue, opening to the public ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater announces Directors Inclusion Initiative assistant directors 2019-08-15 - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater announces the 2019/20 Season Directors Inclusion Initiative Assistant Directors including Alexander ( Lex ) Turner ( Tiny Beautiful ...


Gay News

Ross Mathews brings bubbles and brunch to Chicago 2019-08-13 - Ross Mathews Presents Dragtastic Bubbly Brunch is a new endeavor for the television personality that combines local drag and a buffet brunch together ...


Gay News

Chicago Cabaret Professionals announces new Board 2019-08-13 - ( Chicago, IL ) The Board of Directors of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals ( CCP ) is delighted to announce the appointment of ...


Gay News

Underscore Theatre plans Chicago Musical Theater Festival and musicals 2019-08-13 - CHICAGO ( August 13, 2019 ) — Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to announce its full 2019-20 Season, featuring two fully-produced musicals, plus ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-08-13 - Ghost Quartet, Black Button Eyes Productions @ Stage 773, through Aug. 17—Dazzling vocal and instrumental musicianship in the town's most unique musical; a ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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 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 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.