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 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Alas: A Monologue from Matei Visniec's Cabaret of Words
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2020-08-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Matei Visniec, translation by Daniela Silindean. At: Trap Door Theatre streaming online . Tickets: TrapDoorTheatre.com; $10 suggested donation. Runs through: Sept. 4

Romania's location amid the quasi-feudal Balkan states has endowed it with a history of subjugation rendering it particularly vulnerable to oppressive governments. Playwright Matei Visniec, even after fleeing to France in 1987, has not forgotten the censorship imposed on dissident writers under the Communist regime, nor is he content to allow us to take for granted a freedom as fragile as it is precious.

His exhortation to his fellow citizens—currently streaming online under the sponsorship of Trap Door Theatre and its expatriate branch in Barcelona, Trap Door International—is barely 200 words long, however. How, then, does Visniec convey the ambivalence of a populace acknowledging the necessity of social restrictions ( "triage" ) while always cognizant of the threat posed by a complacency promoting capitulation to authority?

Why, it's done precisely as the the Absurdists did nearly a century earlier, during a similarly shellshocked age ( Ionesco, especially )—by excising superfluous verbiage to forge an abbreviated stream-of-consciousness syntax reflecting the confusion of contradictory allegiances. "Fence. Big fence…I fence off, you fence off, he fences off, we all fence off. Happily. Necessary it is." we are told, even as the muted cry of "Alas" permeates the tangle of seemingly unrelated observations.

Lest we attribute these attitudes to a single culture, director Michael Mejia has further divided this soliloquy among 16 actors whose careers span several countries and at least half a dozen languages—mostly English, but with forays into Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Afrikaans—in the course of the presentation.

Don't adjust your computer's volume during the first few seconds of the compact ( 22 minutes max ) video, though—the silent prologue may feature a noiresque black-and-white palette, but this is no exercise in mid-20th-century minimalism. Trap Door's aesthetic mandates performers dressed in carnival motley garb, and our merry band of multi-ethnic polyglot revelers deliver a portrait gallery of festive regalia encompassing hair arranged in Medusa braids and faces bedizened with spots and stripes of slate gray, patina green and jellybean violet paint attached to athletically agile physiques gamboling in kinetic frenzies, surrounded by hints of forests, beaches and cheerful kitchens.

The result is a kaleidoscopic collage ( assembled by director Mejia in their additional capacity as video editor, along with their responsibilities as the show's composer and sound designer ) so dazzling that by the time we are confronted by a series of brutally familiar images reflecting our own country's experience, our first impulse is to repeat our brief, but densely packed, dark-ride tour in search of warnings we might have missed the first time, or perhaps just another glimpse of the single shimmering-gold tear welling forth from a clown's sad blue eye.


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 We're Gonna Die 2020-09-19 - Playwright: Young Jean Lee At: Theatre Y, streaming online at Theatre-Y.com . Ticketsfree. Runs through: Oct. 4 "To be, or ...


Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in fest through Sept. 19 2020-09-16 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pride and Prejudice: A Virtual Play 2020-09-16 - Playwright: Adapted by Christina Calvit from the novel by Jane Austen At: Streaming online at LifelineTheatre.com . Tickets: Free with donation. Runs ...


Gay News

'Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret' on Sept. 25, 27 2020-09-12 - Oil Lamp Theater has announced the first event in its Onstage and Outdoors: A Live Performance Series—" Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret." The ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards to be online this fall 2020-09-09 - The 52nd annual Jeff Awards, recognizing theater excellence among Equity theater productions, will be presented this fall as an online program. In preparation ...


Gay News

Closet Play virtual benefit concert leads PrideArts virtual season 2020-09-02 - CHICAGO - PrideArts Artistic Director Donterrio Johnson today announced a four - show virtual fall season called REIGNITE! that will look to the ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Pursuit of Happiness: A BoHo Exploration of Freedom 2020-09-02 - Playwright: Scripted by the artists and curated by Sana Selemon At: Streaming online at BoHoTheatre.com Tickets: free with donation . Runs through: Open ...


Gay News

American Blues marking 35 years on Sept. 4 with 'Blue Bash' 2020-08-28 - American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announced the 2021 Blue Bash, a fundraiser celebrating 35 Years Strong. ...


Gay News

Congo Square Theatre Company announces 2020-2021 Season including digital 2020-08-25 - CHICAGO ( August 25, 2020 )—Congo Square Theatre Company ( Congo Square ), one of the nation's premier African American theatres, is proud ...


Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in festival thru Sept. 19 2020-08-22 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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.