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 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Girl You Know It's True; Liberal Arts: The Musical!
DOUBLE THEATER REVIEW
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2012-04-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Girl You Know It's True

Book: Mark O'Donnell & Thomas

Playwright: Bixby Elliot

At: Pavement Group at

Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St.

www.pavementgroup.org; $25

Runs through: May 13

Liberal Arts: The Musical!

Playwrights: Alex Higgin-Houser,

Brendan Siegfried, Laura Stratford;

Composer: David Kornfeld

At: Underscore Theatre Company at

The Second Stage, 3408 N. Sheffield Ave.

www.liberalartsthemusical.com; $20

Runs through: May 13

It's always a pleasant surprise for this reviewer to discover LGBT characters in shows that aren't necessarily publicized or billed as "gay plays." This is the case with two current world premieres in Chicago: Pavement Group's Girl You Know It's True by Bixby Elliot and Underscore Theatre Company's Liberal Arts: The Musical! by Alex Higgin-Houser, Brendan Siegfried, Laura Stratford and composer David Kornfeld.

As suggested by its title, Girl… deals with the early 1990s Milli Vanilli scandal when the duo of Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus (hilariously and touchingly played here by Armand Fields and Sentell Harper) was exposed as lip-syncing dancers who didn't actually sing the hit songs that propelled them to become pop stars. However, Elliot skillfully depicts the Milli Vanilli incident in reverse to ponder larger issues of fame and phoniness by questioning how far people (himself, presumably included) would be willing to lie in order to achieve success and stardom.

Hence, Girl… also features an embittered and catty gay Caucasian playwright character also named Bixby (John Zinn), who creates a fictional persona of a Black, lesbian and disabled writer to help make his submitted plays strand out in the theater world. Things go awry when Bixby has to hire an actress (Sam Bailey) to play this fabricated persona, causing him to lie to even his longtime boyfriend, Paul (Keith Neagle).

Director David Perez and his super talented cast have a field day in Eliot's skillfully Pirandello-styled comedy that acidly revels in playing with manufactured constructs of what is "real" in entertainment. Girl… is loads of campy fun, but it also harbors an incisive serious side that keeps this hip and up-to-date play grounded with humility amid its mischievous vivisections of modern-day celebrity and political correctness.

The gay characters in Liberal Arts: The Musical! aren't tortured with bullying or trying to find acceptance. They're just regular guys struggling with the new stresses of college life at the fictional Secular Liberal Arts College (SLAC).

So this matter-of-fact existence of gay characters is something to commend the creators of Liberal Arts, though the inclusion of the over-booked character of Neil (Wesley Dean Tucker) feels a tad token-ish since he doesn't have any dating dilemmas like the other main freshmen characters discovering dorm life in this new musical.

There's a lot of talent on display in the writing and performing of Liberal Arts, though it's not always channeled in the most effective ways in this often hard-to-hear staging by Alex Higgin-Houser. The characters are frequently stereotypical, making you wonder whether Liberal Arts might have succeeded better as a song-and-sketch revue rather than a through-line musical with so many shallow people and so-so plot threads.


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 How I Learned to Drive 2019-02-19 - By: Paula Vogel At: Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Tickets:raventheatre.com; $41-$46. Runs through: March 24 Despite the script's Pulitzer-elevated status ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Dear Evan Hansen 2019-02-19 - Authors: Steven Levenson ( book ), Benj Pasek & Justin Paul ( music/lyrics ) At: Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com; ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Total Bent 2019-02-15 - Authors: Stew and Heidi Rodewald At: The Den Theatre, 1616 N. Wells St. Tickets: HavenTheatreChicago.com; $35. Runs through: March 10 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment Center 2019-02-13 - Playwright: Abe Koogler At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-40; ARedOrchidTheatre.org. Runs through: March 24 These ...


Gay News

Nederlander Theatre lights marquee 2019-02-13 - Broadway In Chicago's newly named James M. Nederlander Theatre recently lit its marquee for the first time. The venue, at 24 W. ...


Gay News

The Jeff Awards to present panel on Latinx Theater 2019-02-12 - February 12, 2019, Chicago, IL - The Jeff Awards meeting on Monday, February 18, 2019 at the Greenhouse Theater will include a panel ...


Gay News

SPOTLIGHT on Underscore Theatre's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival 2019-02-12 - Is the next Hamilton lurking in Chicago? Stranger things have happened. Underscore Theatre's ambitious 5th Annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival includes nine concert ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-02-12 - A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Auditorium, through March 16. A score that hearkens to ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2019-02-12 - Playwright: Book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak At: Porchlight Music Theater at ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pipeline 2019-02-12 - Playwright: Dominique Morisseau At: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.. Tickets: $27-60; VictoryGardens.org . Runs through: March 3 Thinking about ...


 



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
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.