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 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2020-05-14

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew

At: TimeLine ( sic ) Theatre, streaming. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7

TimeLine Theatre commissioned To Master the Art in 2008 and presented its world premiere two years later. It was remounted in 2013 for a commercial run at the Broadway Playhouse in Water Tower Place, and this streaming video is that 2013 restaging. It's pay-per-view, giving you ( and your household ) a week in which to view the show, once you sign up.

To Master the Art is a portrait of celebrated chef Julia Child and her husband, Paul Child, covering roughly 15 years from their marriage in 1946 up to the 1961 publication of Julia's magnum opus, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Most of the play is set in Paris, although they only lived there for five years, but we can allow authors Doug Frew and William Brown ( also the director ) a bit of poetic license.

It's vastly entertaining, especially Act I ,which is peppered it with big laughs. Wisely, the laughs are not simply gags but always grow out of the characters. Act II grows more serious—and more intellectually substantial—as Child and her cookbook collaborators ( Simone Beck and Louisette Berthold ) struggle to find a publisher, while Paul—who was a State Department officer with the United States Information Agency—is caught up in the shameful Red Scare of the 1950s.

Indeed, To Master the Art constantly contrasts American culture with European culture of the 1950s and America comes out looking xenophobic, paranoid and boorish. The play's observations on American political and social culture are not lost in today's political climate.

The play also makes clear how deeply Julia and Paul loved each other, and how especially supportive and encouraging he was. We don't learn nearly as much about him as we do about her. Paul held a Fourth Degree black belt in judo and was a poet and photographer, but we learn none of that. However, we learn—and easily embrace—their shared genuine passion for celebrating life though fine food and wine, often expressed in nearly poetic passages. This is the art to which the title refers.

Karen Janes ( sic ) Woditsch and Craig Spidle are marvelous as Julia and Paul, and the video's close-ups really allow us to see their nuanced, utterly truthful facial expressions. The supporting cast is a who's who of top Chicago actors, among them Janet Ulrich Brooks, Jennie Affelder, Heidi Kettenring and Terry Hamilton each taking on several roles. Hamilton is especially charming and wry as master chef Max Bugnard, Julia's instructor at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

The first rate video was produced and edited by Marty Higgenbotham with near-TV quality and clear audio. Composer Andrew Hansen has supplied wonderful musical underscoring, while the women's lovely period costumes are the work of Rachel Anne Healy.

Jonathan Abarbanel is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association


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

Steppenwolf names first woman director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22 - Playwright: Jocelyn Bioh At: Goodman Theatre online at GoodmanTheatre.org/StreamSchoolGirls. Tickets: $20. Runs through: May 31 Ranking in popularity on the list of ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21 - Playwright: Philip Dawkins At: Sideshow Theatre online. Tickets: SideshowTheatre.org; $5+ ( pay what you can ). Runs through: Open run Playwright Philip ...


Gay News

Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21 - In response to the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced that the upcoming engagement of Disney's Frozen—originally scheduled to run ...


Gay News

'SapphFest' to take place virtually May 28-29 2020-05-21 - On May 28-29 at 7:30 p.m., Violet Surprise Theatre will present SapphFest—a digital variety show celebrating queer women and non-binary artists from all ...


Gay News

First Folio to stream 'Cymbeline' in June 2020-05-19 - As a way to help address the absence of live theater performances, First Folio Theatre will offer a streaming video recording of the ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag updates season with 'Girls,' 'Tiger Queen' 2020-05-19 - Hell in a Handbag Productions announced several updates to its 2020 season, including a streaming production slated for this summer and a world-premiere ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens announces IGNITION Festival of New Plays 2020-05-18 - Victory Gardens Theater outgoing Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Artistic Erica Daniels announced the lineup for the 2020 IGNITION Festival of New ...


Gay News

Broadway in Chicago updates show schedule 2020-05-15 - ( Chicago — Friday, May 15 ) The safety and health of our patrons, staff and theatrical companies is our top priority. In ...


 



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
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.