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

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Disgraced; Hesperia
DOUBLE REVIEW
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2012-02-08

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Disgraced

Playwright: Ayad Akhtar. At: American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St. Phone: 773-409-4125; $35-$40. Web: www.atcweb.org . Runs through Feb. 26

Hesperia

Playwright: Randall Colburn. At: Writers' Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Phone: 847-242-6000; $45-$65. Web: www.writerstheatre.org . Runs through March 18

People struggling with faith, religion and the messiness of life populate the two current Chicago-area dramas of Ayak Akhtar's Disgraced at American Theater Company and Randall Colburn's Hesperia at Writers' Theatre. While both offer high-impact dramatics based around religious issues and customs, the emotional explosiveness of one turns out to be more satisfying than the personal conflicts explored in the other.

Disgraced focuses on the rising New York Muslim-American corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor ( Usman Ally ) and how his goal of achieving American Dream-style success gets spectacularly derailed practically overnight. Amir has largely turned his back on his faith to get ahead in the United States, but is later torn asunder when a series of professional and personal biases and betrayals come to a heated boil.

Akhtar's very topical world premiere is definitely designed to push buttons and to simultaneously prod audiences intellectually and emotionally to consider their own cultural and religious views in post-9/11 America. While some of Akhtar's character choices and plotting might be a tad too neatly designed for conflict ( particularly with the revelation of infidelity ) , Disgraced certainly allows for great acting moments from director Kimberly Senior's amazing cast. In addition to Ally's powerhouse performance, great work is delivered all around from Lee Stark as Amir's wife, Emily, Alana Arenas as Amir's lawyer colleague, Jory, Benim Foster as her husband, Isaac, and Behzad Dabu as Amir's nephew, Abe ( later Hussein ) .

In Hesperia, Randall Colburn tackles the intersection of born-again Christianity with human sexuality. And with its main characters of two former lovers who used to work in Los Angeles' porn industry returning to their small-town America roots, there's potential for explosive conflict.

However, instead of embracing those high-drama stakes about a religious community shocked by a sexual scandal, Colburn instead makes Hesperia into a more personal play about "sinners" trying to return to lives of goodness and purity and of upstanding Christians trying to cope with their natural sexual urges. It's a valid choice on Colburn's part, but it also makes Hesperia feel like a missed dramatic opportunity ( especially in American entertainment, where sex is often viewed as more damaging than violence ) .

Nonetheless, director Stuart Carden gets well-rounded performances from the cast and prevents the upstanding Christian community members from becoming do-gooder caricatures ( particularly skillful performances in this respect come from Erik Hellman as the pun-filled youth pastor, Trick, Tyler Ross as the newly baptized teenager, Aaron, and Rebecca Butler as Trick's lonely cousin, Daisy ) .

As the former lovers of Ian and Claudia, Nathan Hosner and Kelly O'Sullivan respectively gave fine and intense performances. These two often fill in the gaps of character motivation that Colburn doesn't always provide for these damaged, but ultimately striving people trying to remake their lives.


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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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: BroadwayInChicago.com . 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: strawdog.org; $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; GoodmanTheatre.org . 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: BroadwayInChicago.com; $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; WritersTheatre.org; $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.

 

 

 

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.