Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-23
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Knight at the Movies: And So It Goes; film notes Knight at the Movies: And So It Goes; film notes
There is precious little in Rob Reiner's latest film—a golden-years romantic comedy ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Penelope
THEATER REVIEW
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2011-12-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email
Penelope. Photo by Michael Brosilow


Playwright: Enda Walsh. At: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. Phone: 312-335-1650;$20-$78. Runs through: Feb. 5

The chronicles of Homer recount how, while Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan wars, his wife, Penelope, was beset by, literally, hundreds of suitors looking to court the attractive, wealthy—and presumed widowed—matron. Though curious at their dogged pursuit, she evaded them by various stratagems, certain that her husband would return. He did, 20 long years later, to kill the would-be usurpers and reunite with his faithful spouse.

Irish playwright Enda Walsh channels Samuel Beckett in his take on the ancient myth, his portrait of the last few bird-dogging bachelors revealing them encamped on Penelope's backyard patio at the bottom of the now-dry swimming pool—sparser of hair and muscle tone in their scanty Speedo trunks and beach robes, but still stubbornly focused on their competition for the mistress of the house's favors.

If this were the sole substance of Walsh's play, what we'd have is a four-handed Waiting For Godot, or perhaps a Prison-Without-Bars play, its action centered on a carefully-selected cross-section of men, stranded with no occupation but to pass the time. Oh, but when an omen warns them that Odysseus is on his way home, they are spurred to action, each making one last desperate bid for Mrs. O.'s affections. The blustery Dunne woos her with Yeatsian poetry, the bookish Fitz bares his intimate thoughts to her, the swaggering Quinn schemes to eliminate his rivals and the meek Burns declares the simple act of love to be its own justification. We finish with one man dead (under enigmatic circumstances) and his companions resigned to their fates.

Steppenwolf's playbill offers some ideas (for those of scholarly bent) as to the author's meaning—something likely to elude audiences after only a single viewing, since what commands our initial attention is Walsh's florid wordplay, along with the quartet of AARP pin-ups (at least three of whom have done the full-monty for Chicago playgoers in their Halcyon days) composed of Scott Jaeck, Tracy Letts, Yasen Peyankov and Ian Barford. Their aged beefcake physiques are thrown into sharp focus by Logan Vaughn's glamorous and silent Penelope, in much the same way as their characters' ambitions are granted urgency by the stacks of empty lawn-chairs attesting to those who abandoned the chase. Are our stubborn heroes foolish or steadfast in their devotion? Who can say, in the end, what constitutes a wasted life?


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

Theater Spotlight: LezFest: A One Night Fling 2014-07-23
THEATER REVIEW Checking Boxes 2014-07-16
THEATER REVIEW A Small Fire 2014-07-16
THEATER REVIEW Dead Man's Cell Phone 2014-07-16
An Evening of Magic July 26 to support AFC 2014-07-14
Windy City Theater Series 2014 tickets on sale 2014-07-09
Pride Films/Plays: LezFest: A One Night Fling July 28 2014-07-03
Play takes a look at undocumented queer youth 2014-07-02
THEATER REVIEW The Last Ship 2014-07-02
THEATER REVIEW The Late Henry Moss 2014-07-02
THEATER REVIEW Apes of Wrath 2014-07-02
THEATER REVIEW Partners 2014-07-02
Theater spotlight: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 2014-07-02
THEATER REVIEW Monstrous Regiment 2014-06-18
THEATER REVIEW Laughter on the 23rd Floor 2014-06-18
THEATER REVIEW Grounded 2014-06-18
Theater Spotlight: My Dinner with Divine 2014-06-18
THEATER REVIEW Avenue Q 2014-06-18
THEATER REVIEW Carrie: The Musical 2014-06-11
THEATER REVIEW Love Tapes 2014-06-11
THEATER REVIEW Ask Aunt Susan 2014-06-11
THEATER REVIEW Caged Dames 2014-06-11
PERFORMANCE Genderqueer playwright talks Southern work 2014-06-11
THEATER REVIEW Piano Diaries 2014-06-04
THEATER REVIEW Haymaker 2014-06-04
THEATER REVIEW Days Like Today 2014-06-04
Theater Spotlight: Tyrant 2014-06-04
THEATER REVIEW Lifeboat 2014-06-04
THEATER REVIEW M. Butterfly 2014-05-28
THEATER REVIEW The Passion of Emma Goldman 2014-05-28
Theater Spotlight: Sketchbook 2049 2014-05-28
THEATER Summer staycations 2014-05-28
Sharon Bridgforth's new theatrical jazz installation in June 2014-05-22
THEATER REVIEW The White Snake 2014-05-21
THEATER REVIEW Exit Strategy 2014-05-21
THEATER REVIEW The Doll's House Project: Ibsen Is Dead 2014-05-21
THEATER REVIEW Vieux Carre 2014-05-21
Theater Spotlight: Charles Ives Take Me Home 2014-05-21
Chicago Women's Funny Festival June 5-8 2014-05-21
About Face Theatre plans Pride Performances Series 2014-05-19





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

John D'Emilio: Renowned professor, historian retires
 
Knight at the Movies: And So It Goes; film notes
 
Tony Tripoli tag-teams with The Cabaret Project
 
The Dinner Party holds Taste of Chicago special
 
Chicago Theatre Week expands in 2015
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.