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 2020-04-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Smart moments in theater in 2014
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2014-12-31

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Even if the line of dialogue you couldn't wait to quote after Chris Hainsworth's adaptation of Monstrous Regiment for Lifeline Theatre was "Things couldn't get any worse if it were raining arseholes," a more accurate summary of Chicago theater in 2014 might be "ars victrix"—in English, "art endures."

The year may have been marked by long-existing companies folding their tents and prominent figures in the community departing—some timely, some untimely ( one of the latter name-checked on a major television series barely a month later )—for that Great Greenroom in the Sky, but new artists opened new enterprises in new spaces to ensure that the dynamic experienced only in live performance continued beyond the brief life-spans of those whose lives were dedicated to its creation.

All said, it was a year of ups and downs, sometimes occurring almost side by side. Here are some of both:

Brainy women

THE UPSIDE: Megan Carney's Women At War ( Rivendell ) and George Brandt's Grounded ( American Blues ) broke from wholesome girl-scout and Skyping-mommy stereotypes to depict women in the U.S. Armed Forces as individuals with the same concerns as their male counterparts. THE DOWNSIDE: Sarah Breem's The How and The Why ( Timeline ) presented us with two top-girl scientists still preoccupied with boyfriends and babies, while Philip Dawkins' Miss Marx ( Strawdog ) reduced the daughter of the Socialist Movement to a lovesick damsel undone by an abusive cad.

Big spectacles

THE UPSIDE: Sean Graney's panoramic vision was displayed at its fullest by All Our Tragic, a 12-hour adaptation of all the surviving Greek Tragedies inaugurating the Hypocrites' residency at The Den. THE DOWNSIDE: Meteorological factors sabotaged Red Moon's riverfront Great Chicago Fire pageant and crippled several light boards during the first warm days of summer.

Filial piety

THE UPSIDE: Aaron Posner's adaptation of Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev ( Timeline ) and Ena Lamont Stewart's 1947-vintage Men Should Weep ( Griffin ) made a case for children being creatures to be loved and cherished, while Samuel Hunter's Rest ( Victory Gardens ) did likewise for aged parents. THE DOWNSIDE: Lorelei Sturm's adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper ( The Mill ) and Caitlin Parrish's The Downpour ( Route 66 ) presented us with two horrifying cases of post-partum depression, and Peter Nichols' A Day In the Death of Joe Egg ( Stage Left ) warned of marital stress associated with caring for a severely disabled child.

Smart ensemble teamwork

Foursome Dierdre O'Connell, Caroline Neff, Zoe Perry and Martha Lavey in The Way West ( Steppenwolf ); threesome Kirsten Fitzgerald, Natalie West and Mierka Girten in Mud Blue Sky ( Red Orchid ); and twosomes Darrell Cox and Lia Mortensen in Annapurna ( Profiles ) and Kareem Bandealy and Michael Patrick Thornton in Othello ( Gift Theatre ).

Smart plays

El Incas ( Collectivo el Pozo ), Seminar ( Haven Theatre ), Love Tapes ( The Inconvenience ), From White Plains ( Broken Nose ), Ghost Bike ( Buzz22 ). OLD-SCHOOL DRAMA: King Hedley II ( Congo Square ), Vieux Carré ( Raven ), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning ( Prologue ), Our Class ( Remy Bumpo ). NEW LOOKS AT CLASSICS: Calamity West's Doll's House Project ( Interrobang ) and Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird ( Sideshow ). SPECIAL OLD-TIME RELIGION DIVISION: Jacob ( Provision Theatre ), The Lark ( Promethean ) and Saint Joan ( ShawChicago ).

Smart musical moments

Rebecca Finnegan in Sweeney Todd ( Porchlight ), beefcake Anvil Chorus in Il Trovatore ( Lyric Opera ), clever mash-ups in Dee Snider's Rock and Roll Christmas Tale and the ubiquity of the Vitamin String Quartet as a source of incidental music qualified as cool moments.

Smart directors

Jennifer Markowitz for Hellish Half-Light ( Mary-Arrchie ), Toma Tavares Langston for Dead Man's Cell Phone ( Enthusiasts ) and Matt Hawkins for The Arsonists ( Strawdog ) are this year's honorees.

Smart tech

Check out the Thalidomide Kid painting in Joe Egg ( Stage Left ), sewing machine in Intimate Apparel ( Eclipse ), bicycles in Ghost Bike ( Buzz22 ), fake cigarettes in Ecstasy ( Red Orchid ) and the breakaway wall in Monstrous Regiment ( Lifeline ). SPECIAL STEAMPUNK DIVISION: Jane Eyre ( Lifeline ), Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead ( Promethean ) SPECIAL BOAT-IN-THE-BOTTLE DIVISION: A Tale of Two Cities ( Lifeline ), Crime and Punishment ( Mary-Arrchie ), Great Expectations ( Strawdog ) SPECIAL FLORA AND FAUNA DIVISION: Brutus the fighting fish in The Clean House ( Bluebird ) and Widget the cat in The Lieutenant of Inishmore ( AstonRep )

Smart actors

Kristin E. Ellis in The Inside ( MPAACT ), Frank Nall in The Late Henry Moss ( Artistic Home ), Ron Keaton in Churchill ( SoloChicago ), Chris Walsh in Monstrous Regiment ( Lifeline ) SPECIAL BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY DIVISION: Linda Gillum in Both Your Houses ( Remy Bumppo ) SPECIAL MICHAEL SHANNON STARWATCHER DIVISION: Alex Weisman, Caroline Neff, Dan Waller SPECIAL AARP PIN-UP DIVISION: Dennis Newport in Trafford Tanzi ( Prologue )


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

Virtual reading of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons April 16 2020-04-03 - In honor of Terrence McNally, who recently passed away at age 81 of complications from COVID-19. Four actors, each participating from a remote ...


Gay News

Arts for Illinois launches with grants for artists, groups 2020-04-01 - Arts Alliance Illinois joined Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in launching Arts for Illinois—a collaboration between the State of ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Methtacular! 2020-04-01 - Playwright: Steven Strafford Via: 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. Tickets: 708-795-6704 or 16thStreetTheater.org; . $12 per person/on your honor. Available through: ...


Gay News

Court Theatre reschedules The Gospel at Colonus to the 2020-2021 season 2020-03-31 - Chicago, IL - Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director, announces ...


Gay News

THEATER Mourning Terrence McNally 2020-03-30 - The prolific Emmy and Tony Award-winning writer Terrence McNally passed away at the age of 81 in Florida at a Sarasota hospital on ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Teenage Dick 2020-03-27 - Playwright: Mike Lew At: Theater Wit ( on line streaming only ) Tickets: TheaterWit.org; $28. Runs through: April 19 In a ...


Gay News

Raven Theatre postpones world premiere of Eden Prairie, 1971 due to COVID-19 2020-03-26 - CHICAGO ( March 25, 2020 ) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Raven Theatre today announced it will postpone its upcoming world ...


Gay News

Tony Awards to be postponed; no new date set 2020-03-25 - The 74th Annual Tony Awards—scheduled to air live on CBS on Sunday, June 7 from New York's Radio City Music Hall—has been postponed ...


Gay News

'Around Broadway' to honor high-school musical-theater students 2020-03-25 - Broadway In Chicago has announced its new social-media program, "Around Broadway in 80 Days." In the wake of the cancellation of The Jimmy ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Terrence McNally dies of coronavirus complications at 81 2020-03-24 - Terrence McNally—a four-time Tony winner who wrote musicals and plays such as Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Full Monty and Kiss of the ...


 



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.