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 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Rightlynd
by Kerry Reid
2018-11-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Ike Holter

At: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000; VictoryGardens.org; $27-$55. Runs through: Dec. 23

Meet Nina Esposito. She's just taken on a longtime alderman and won a seat in City Council by one vote. She's eager to stop the forces of rapacious gentrification and official social neglect that have led to school closings and unchecked crime in Chicago's 51st Ward, a.k.a. Rightlynd. She's fired up and ready to go.

Good luck with that.

Ike Holter's latest play bears the name of his fictional neighborhood, and is designed to be the first chronologically in his "Chicago cycle," which has already included acclaimed titles such as Exit Strategy and The Wolf at the End of the Block. In Esposito, he's created a character who feels like a cunning blend of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Tommy Carcetti, the "reform" mayor from the HBO series The Wire, who finds himself sucked in by the same forces he campaigned against.

Rightlynd's biggest enemy is the Applewood Foundation ( embodied by the oily rep played by Jerome Beck ), which has been landing "urban renewal" deals throughout Chicago and pushing out small businesses. But as Monica Orozco's Nina quickly finds out, campaigning in poetry and then trying to govern in prose means disappointing your constituents—even if you're not making side deals with drug dealers.

Director Lisa Portes nimbly handles all the narrative devices Holter uses to create this tough, funny, scabrous and sorrowful world. These include dance sequences, comic asides ( Robert Cornelius as Robinson, the plainspoken owner of a Rightlynd auto-repair shop, gets a lot of zingers ), and even a terrific street-fight sequence ( created by violence director Jaq Seifert ) that goes from exhilarating to horrifying.

That tension between comic absurdity and grim reality doesn't always gel successfully here. In particular, the central relationship between Nina and ex-con Pac ( Eddie Martinez ) feels like it could use some more fire and pushback from Pac, who more than anyone else we meet here has suffered from the callousness and injustice of the status quo.

The alderwoman wins trust easily, including that of Benny ( Anish Jethmalani ), a reporter for the Daily News. ( Jethmalani, at times, seems to be channeling the mix of cynicism and hope embodied by the Daily News' most famous columnist, Mike Royko. ) But Nina herself doesn't always feel like someone deserving of that trust. She has passion, to be sure. But we don't see enough of her own roots in the community, other than her loyalty to her late mother's long-closed corner shop and her on-the-verge-of-being-closed old high school. What exactly is her base? What is her coalition? I don't think Holter is going for docu-realism here as much as allegory. Yet when Nina cries out late in the play about the community not supporting her, it's hard not to wonder "Who do you think your community is, exactly?"

Then again, that might be the cogent point Holter is making—and that political outsiders learn over and over. Winning isn't the hard part. Staying in power without losing sight of your goals is.


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

BAC Announces Season of Inclusion, Productions to Focus on Diversity 2019-08-21 - ( Chicago, August 20, 2019 ) — The Beverly Arts Center announces the productions for their upcoming 2019-2020 season, dubbed the "Season of ...


Gay News

Muslim performers' event Aug. 30-31 2019-08-21 - On Aug. 30-31, at 8 p.m., the Muslim Writers Collective will host a program at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., with artists ...


Gay News

Bechdel Fest 7 set for Aug. 25-28 2019-08-21 - Broken Nose Theatre ( BNT ) has announced the full line-up for Bechdel Fest 7: Momentum—the company's annual festival of new short plays ...


Gay News

About Face names new associates 2019-08-21 - About Face Theatre has announced the addition of five new artists to the company's roster of artistic associates. Along with Artistic Director ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW You Can't Fake the Funk 2019-08-21 - Author: Daryl D. Brooks At: Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St. Tickets: BlackEnsembletheater.org, 773-769- 4451; $55-65. Runs through Sept. 22 Enjoyment ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW All Quiet on the Western Front 2019-08-21 - Playwright: adapted by Matt Foss, from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque At: Red Tape Theatre at the Greenhouse, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Fly Honey Show 2019-08-21 - Authors: Erin Killmurray ( concept ), Mary Williamson and Shannon Matesky. At: The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: http://www.theflyhoneyshow.com/events; $22.50-$45, ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-08-21 - The Band's Visit, Cadillac Palace, Sept. 3-15—Critics' Picks rarely promotes shows not yet open, but this disarming, tender, compassionate and entertaining musical must ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Women of 4G 2019-08-21 - Playwright: Amy Tofte At: Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St. Tickets: TheFactoryTheater.com and BabesWithBlades.org; $20-$28. Runs through: Sept. 14 It is ...


Gay News

Kinley Preston previews Lips Chicago dinner theater 2019-08-21 - Lips, billed as "the ultimate in drag dining," is locating its fifth location in Chicago. The South Loop venue, opening to the public ...


 



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


 



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.