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 2020-02-19
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

THEATER REVIEW Charley's Aunt 2020-02-25 - Playwright: Brandon Thomas At: Saint Sebastian Players at St. Bonaventure Oratory, 1641 W. Diversey Ave. Tickets: $25; SaintSebastianPlayers.org, 773-404-7922. Runs through: March 15 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Titus Andronicus 2020-02-24 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: havenchi.org . Price: $35. Runs through: Mar 14 Director Ian ...


Gay News

Cantonese opera program March 17 2020-02-23 - "Si-fu: An Evening of Cantonese Opera" will make its Midwest debut at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Performance Hall, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Kill Move Paradise 2020-02-23 - By: James Ijames At: TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave. Tickets: 773-281-8463 or TimeLineTheatre.com; $42-$57. Runs through: April 5 There's a lot ...


Gay News

'Judy & Liza' tribute March 5-April 5 2020-02-19 - The tribute show "Judy & Liza—Once In A Lifetime: The London Palladium Concert" will be presented at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. ...


Gay News

'...Love Is Queer to Stay' throughout Feb. 2020-02-19 - The Laughing Stock Theatre production The Masquerade; Or, Love Is Queer to Stay presents a queer spin on classical tropes, and will run ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Boys in the Band 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Mart Crowley At: Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd. Tickets: WindyCityPlayhouse.com Price: $75-95. Runs through: April 19 In ...


Gay News

OPERA REVIEW The Queen of Spades 2020-02-18 - Score: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Libretto: Modest Tchaikovsky; after Alexander Pushkin. At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Dr. Tickets: 312-827-5600 or ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Roan @ The Gates 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Christina Telesca Gorman At: American Blues Theater at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: $19-$39. Runs through: Feb. 29 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Emma 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Paul Gordon ( book, music & lyrics ) At: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier. Tickets: 312-595-5600; ChicagoShakes.com; $35-$90. Runs through: March 15 ...


 



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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

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 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.