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



by Lauren Emily Whalen

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Mary Bonnett

At: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $35; Runs through: Sept. 30

Red light glows on a wooden desk, a small framed photo its only personal item. A neatly folded blanket rests on a leather club chair and a wet bar boasts half-full bottles. On the opposite side of the stage, metal chairs project coldness, impersonality. This is the set of Monger: masculine, unfeeling and sharp enough to cut.

If only the rest of the play were that interesting.

Inspired by a real-life case, Monger follows a day in the life of a closet pedophile. ( The title refers to a group of men who chat online about paying underage girls and women for sex, comparing notes and seeking their next fix. ) Playwright Mary Bonnett is clearly passionate about raising awareness of sex trafficking. Sadly, passion is never enough, especially in ripped-from-the-headlines stories. Monger's three characters are comically over-the-top, which makes it difficult to take the story seriously.

JB Benton ( Ira Amyx ) enters yapping on a headset about the violent altercation his teenage son got into with a bully. Immediately after, he logs on to his secret group of "hobbyists", and the salacious pictures and vomit-inducing requests fly. Monger's central character is cartoonish from the start: there's no way this sexist jerk isn't engaging in terrible acts.

One of the many shocking factors of sex trafficking is how prevalent it is, lurking just under the surface. Often, mongers are the people we don't suspect, such as popular British TV host Jimmy Savile, a Christian children's show presenter here in the United States and, to a different degree, Bill Cosby. JB doesn't have to be likable, but he has no nuance whatsoever, and the result is alienating. Bonnett also can't seem to decide whether JB is a prosecutor or a defense attorney, a crucial fact considering he's interviewing the mother of a murdered teenage girl.

Monger's other two characters aren't much better. JB's son Eddie ( Joshua Zambrano ) is a textbook misunderstood youth, referring to his dad as "Mein Fuhrer" and tossing off F-bombs while begging to go to art school. It's hard to believe this kid would try to kill a classmate, based on his outcast status and the fact that bullied students tend to turn the hurt on themselves, not others. Jamise Wright does her best as the grieving mother, but is reduced to the archetype of the disadvantaged woman who had no idea her daughter was engaging in illegal activity and had a pimp.

Because of Bonnett's poor writing, Monger is dull rather than shocking. Early in the play, one of JB's online buddies writes, "I love this hobby. I hate this hobby" and another types, "I hate being a Monger." In response I furiously scribbled, "Can't we follow these guys instead?"

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.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW How I Learned to Drive 2019-02-19 - By: Paula Vogel At: Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St.; $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:; ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Total Bent 2019-02-15 - Authors: Stew and Heidi Rodewald At: The Den Theatre, 1616 N. Wells St. Tickets:; $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; 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; . 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.








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.