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 2014-10-29
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

Sponsor
Elton visits John Kerry; anti-Cory Booker mishap; Apple CEO Elton visits John Kerry; anti-Cory Booker mishap; Apple CEO
Elton John visited Secretary of State John Kerry to announce the singer's ...

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

Sweet Bird of Youth
THEATER REVIEW
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2012-10-03

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Tennessee Williams. At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: 1-312-443-3800; www.GoodmanTheatre.org; $27-$88. Runs through: Oct. 28

Virtually every Tennessee Williams character is corrupt and hypocritical. His heroes and heroines—frequently social outsiders—acknowledge their corruption and attempt to redeem themselves, while insiders and power-holders do not acknowledge their moral degeneracy. Williams isn't really interested in corruption by money and power. Rather, it always comes down to sex and love in his plays. Sex corrupts, love transfigures and you rarely have both together.

Sweet Bird of Youth centers on sexually alluring Chance Wayne, a 29-year-old gigolo returning to his Gulf Coast home town with an aging movie star with Hollywood clout, Alexandra Del Lago. Chance antagonizes almost everyone and then sacrifices himself—in a literal physical sense—as a form of redemption when he realizes he has destroyed his one pure love, the aptly named Heavenly Finley, daughter of powerful political boss Tom Finley.

Chance Wayne, however, isn't easy to like. He's a self-destructive romantic who pours oil on the fires he lights, a man of ample worldly experience who nonetheless remains naive to common sense. But he does understand and accept his hypocrisies, unlike Boss Finley and his thuggish followers. (Set in the Deep South in 1959, Finley also represents hard-core racist views.)

The play also opens with an hour-long getting-to-know-you waltz between Chance and Del Lago, requiring audiences to focus intimately on two characters before you even know them or meet any other important figures. This is a good way to lose an audience.

Hot-button director David Cromer keeps his audience because he has real-life stars Finn Wittrock and Diane Lane as Chance and Del Lago, displaying their ample legit acting chops in sharp performances. Wittrock takes Chance's self-absorption and detached reality to scary-but-riveting heights, while Lane smartly underplays Del Lago without making her weak. In Del Lago, the manipulative Wayne has met his match and she knows it before he does. Lane need not act the diva to make the point as "monster meets monster," as Del Lago puts it.

Beyond his leads, Cromer tackles Sweet Bird in his usual singular manner. He moves a scene from Act II to Act III, uses non-realistic instantaneous lighting changes to isolate actors or turn day to night, and dwarfs characters in James Schuette's massive, semi-realistic sets. The results are vivid but cold.

Adjusting the act structure allows Cromer to use intermissions to separate the outsider hypocrites (Chance and Del Lago) from the insiders (Boss Finley and gang) with great intellectual clarity. However, clarity ain't emotional warmth. Schuette's mostly white scenery amplifies the chill. Although airy (no solid walls), the size and classical forms of doorways and windows, coupled with a sweeping metallic cyclorama, suggest sepulchral marble. These characters are entombed, which may be a proper judgment.


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.

'Out' lesbian Moms Mabley was comedic pioneer 2014-10-29
Theater events: Nutcracker; Lynch at Lyric; Laramie 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Amazing Grace 2014-10-29
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Parade 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW All Girl Edgar Allan Poe 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Devil's Day Off 2014-10-29
Events coming up in film, arts, music, performance 2014-10-29
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Theatrical puzzle pieces 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW Watch on the Rhine 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW The Submission 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW At Last: A Tribute to Etta James 2014-10-22
EXHIBITS 'David Bowie Is' wows patrons at the MCA 2014-10-22
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-22
Laramie Project; Boy George; Library exhibit on marriage 2014-10-22
'By Women for Women' Oct. 25 at Joffrey Tower 2014-10-21
GayCo Productions turns 18, is Bearly Legal 2014-10-17
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Gay bar drama 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Danny Casolaro Died for You 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW The Wild Party 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Witches Among Us 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Take Me Out 2014-10-15
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-15
Cyndi Lauper talks about 'Kinky Boots' 2014-10-15
Upcoming shows: Laramie Project; Brickman; McComas, Kuper, Kennedy 2014-10-15
46th Jeff Awards celebrates excellence in Chicago theatre 2014-10-13
Terrence McNally Eclipse Theatre Company's featured playwright 2014-10-12
Robert Patrick: One of oldest gay playwrights on theater history 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW At Home at the Zoo 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW The World of Extreme Happiness 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW The Night Alive 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW Bethany 2014-10-08
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-08
NUNN ON ONE Gay actor from 'Nurse Jackie' shows theater chops 2014-10-08
Dustin Lance Black talks marriage rights, traveling and London 2014-10-08
Double date with Walt Whitman: Interview with playwright, actor 2014-10-07
Bennett and Gaga's CD; Melissa on marriage; Laverne in Vegas 2014-10-07
Laramie Project launches Northwestern's MainStage season 2014-10-06
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard to premiere 2014-10-03





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.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

PASSAGES Former Chicagoan Steven Moore dies
 
Strict ID laws could hinder trans voters
 
Neil Patrick news; 'Freeheld' has problem; 'Divas Simply Singing'
 
Egalite Chicago forum on LGBT activism post marriage equality
 
Music, radio are David Polk's passion, profession
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  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.