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 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Illegal Use of Hands
THEATER REVIEW
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2012-09-12

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: James Still. At: American Blues Theater at Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.. Tickets: 773-871-3000; www.americanbluestheater.com; $19-$39. Runs through: Sept. 30

The fiction requires a small agrarian community where high school still figures as prominently as church and family in its young citizens' upbringing. Ex-varsity football star Roy recalls fondly when he and his fellow teammates were heroes, when girls were princesses to be courted, when his best friend wasn't queer (that anyone knew), when their futures stretched ahead of them in a highway with no road signs. In short, before that fatal day when an erroneous call at the homecoming game scuttled their destinies for all eternity.

Who says tragic myth doesn't encroach on real life? Trouble is, that's not how it happened, except in Roy's fabrications. They lost the game 70-0, former quarterback Cody reminds him. Nevertheless, on this homecoming night decades later, a stalled-out truck brings an incensed Roy and a reluctant Cody to the door of aged ex-referee Wallace, whose decision Roy blames for the contagion condemning their team to defeat, the town to inertia and himself to failure. Will this confrontation inspire justice, vengeance or a long-delayed exorcism?

James Still's scenario lends itself to cheap grunt-and-guffaw gags leading up to bearish male-bonding hugs, but director Sandy Shinner refuses to reduce her text to a beer commercial. Roy is not a TV-sitcom musclehead—he holds down a job, he accepts Cody's homosexuality and his reaction to this significant date will likely pass. What we come to understand, however, is that the frustration spurring him to seek a scapegoat for his own unfulfilled life is not far removed from the reasons behind Cody's return to his boyhood environs after having ventured out into wider realms, or Wallace's retreat to rural solitude from a universe too big for comfort.

Much of this emerges so subtlely in this American Blues Theater production as to be undetectable by any but the most alert playgoers, while other questions remain unanswered, even after an undeniably sentimental dawn arrives for our trio. As the story's chief instigator, Howie Johnson's Roy sometimes fumbles a role demanding greater stamina than was evidenced on opening night, leaving veteran trouper Dennis Zacek's Wallace to steer our sympathies toward his hoggish nemesis. Ultimately, it is lost-American-boy Cody, which Steve Key plays with quiet stoicism, who wins our hearts—when he storms out to continue his flight from a past delivering only sorrow and disappointment, we long to follow him.


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

'Use It or Lose It' Sept. 23 at Greenhouse 2017-09-20 - Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., is hosting "Use It or Lose It: An Evening of Short Plays About Your Rights" on ...


Gay News

Hubbard Street's 'Space' Sept. 21-24 2017-09-20 - Hubbard Street Dance Chicago ( HSDC ) will present its fall program, "Space, in Perspective" ( working title ), for seven performances at ...


Gay News

Story Time with Drag Queens continues 2017-09-20 - "Muffy Fishbasket Presents Story Time with Drag Queens" will continue with events throughout September and October. Muffy Fishbasket and her Good Time Gals ...


Gay News

TRUST, CAIR hosting storytelling event 2017-09-20 - TRUST Collective-Chicago and CAIR-Chicago will host a storytelling event Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at CAIR-chicago, 17 N. State St., 15th floor. ...


Gay News

Theater Critics' Picks 2017-09-20 - Barbecue, Strawdog Theatre at Steppenwolf 1700, through Sept. 30. What people believe always trumps the truth. Satirical playwright Robert O'Hara ( Bootycandy ) ...


Gay News

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Spotlight on Women in Artemesia Fall Festival 2017 2017-09-18 - It's not every day that audiences can have a direct say in what plays are produced by a theater company. But that's exactly ...


Gay News

Chicago Fringe Opera leads with transgender coming of age story at Center 2017-09-17 - Chicago — Now in its fourth year, Chicago's "alt-opera company" ( John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune ) Chicago Fringe Opera ( CFO ) ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical 2017-09-17 - Playwrights: Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott At: Morton College Campus ( Building A ), 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero. Tickets: 708-656-1800 or ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Heavens Are Hung in Black 2017-09-17 - Playwright: James Still. At: Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: $35. Runs through: Oct. 21 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil 2017-09-15 - Playwright: Barbara Lhota, based on the comic strip by Russell Stamm At: Babes With Blades Theatre, Company at the Factory, 1623 W. ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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 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.