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 2018-05-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Golden Age Hollywood icons are reborn on the Chicago stage
by James R. Wilke
2018-02-07

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On Feb. 16-17 at the Athenaeum Theatre, two legendary women from Hollywood's Golden Age will return to audiences ( and to life ) in two Chicago theatrical premiere, 90-minute, one-woman musicals: The Garbo The Musical, and Hedda! A Musical Conversation. And with all the gay intrigue surrounding these two icons—silver screen temptress Greta Garbo and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper—Windy City Times talked with Chicago local creator/performer Jillann ( Jill ) Gabrielle to get the scoop.

A recent transplant to suburban Crystal Lake with her husband, Gabrielle has decades of musical theater, cabaret and solo performance experience under her belt, both locally and across the country. While she is the creator, performer and primary writer of both works, honed at smaller venue performances over the past three years, she also collaborated with locals Michael Termine on the book/lyrics for Hedda! and Howard Pfeifer on the music and arrangements for both shows.

In The Garbo, audiences will find themselves holed up with Garbo in her later reclusive years at her "hodgepodge" east-side Manhattan apartment. The plot revolves around a nightmare Garbo has about two of the most pivotal loves of her life: conspicuous lesbian writer Mercedes de Acosta, and bisexual British designer Cecil Beaton. With quick changes, Gabrielle takes on all three roles as Garbo's nightmare unfolds.

Gabrielle said, "All of the secrets about Garbo come out in this piece." But as audiences will see, things don't work out so well in the end. "She found someone who was very willing and adoring in Cecil," Gabrielle added. "But he was a real cunt. And he gave it to her in the end by publishing his memoirs, as did Mercedes... So, it's really about love and betrayal and not being able to face who you are."

For Hedda!, audiences will join the Queen of Hollywood Gossip in her Beverly Hills living room during the peak of her reign from the mid-1940s through 1950s. Gabrielle said, "She's on the phone; she was notorious! She outed a number of people. She wanted to out Cary Grant, but Louis B. Mayer wouldn't let her do it." Through cheeky songs and conversations, Hedda will reveal this and other juicy bites from her life, and Gabrielle added, "She made herself a star on the backs of all these other stars with her exposure of all their peccadilloes." The play will also touch on Hopper's infamously conservative views.

Gabrielle cited many inspirations drawing her to these particular women's stories, including their strengths, struggles, interesting lives, and similar German-Swedish backgrounds to her own. Gabrielle noted, "I'm sophisticated, but I'm also like Mercedes. I have a foul mouth. And I'm a very domineering woman. But it works well for the stage."

Pre-recorded orchestral tracks will accompany Gabrielle's shows. And with song titles like "I Can Get Any Woman From Any Man ( The Starfucker Song )" sung by Mercedes in The Garbo, or "Queen of the Quickies" and "Friendly Enemy Rag" in Hedda!, Gabrielle's songs sound like just the sort of wit to appeal to LGBT audiences. Of Hopper, Gabrielle added, "She called everybody the 'Friendly Enemies.' And that was her life, giving everybody shit and having fun doing it!"

Apart from these performances, Gabrielle said she sees a future for The Garbo and Hedda! beyond herself. She said, "My goal is to get them to Broadway in small houses, with someone like Glenn Close playing both of them." Gabrielle hinted, however, that Hedda could also be played by a man: "The essential story could be fabulous with a drag queen in it. Are you kidding? Oh, god, yes!"

And does Gabrielle have more original material in the works once Garbo and Hedda hang up their hats? Well, aside from two screenplays she penned currently making rounds in Los Angeles, Gabrielle said of her next solo theatrical production, "My next piece is on Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, where I play them both. ... They are in purgatory, and their punishment is to share the same body." Sounds hot to me. Give 'em hell!

Hedda! and The Garbo open at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16-17, respectively, and run through March 17 at the Athenaeum Theatre, Studio Two, 2936 N. Southport Ave. For showtimes and tickets, visit Athenaeumtheatre.org .


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

LGBTQ comedy company GayCo Productions to present P.ride C.omedy P.arty 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO—- Wanna party in the Chicago comedy scene like it's 1999? Tired of underage twinks asking for cigarettes when all you want is ...


Gay News

Broken Nose will receive award May 21 2018-05-20 - The League of Chicago Theatres announced Broken Nose Theatre as the recipient of the 2018 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. The ...


Gay News

National tour of Broadway production of Falsettos opens here May 28 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO ( May 14, 2018 ) — Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the 2019 National Tour of the Lincoln Center Theater ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Days Are Shorter 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Corinne J. Kawecki At: Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Buena, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets: $25; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com; 773-857-0222. Runs through: ...


Gay News

SUMMER THEATER SPECIAL Summer promises: Theater in and around the city 2018-05-16 - One might not believe it from the climate-change weather people are getting now, but summer is on its way and, with it, outdoor ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW ThroatPunch 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Sharon Krome At: Chicago Mosaic School, 1101 W. Granville Ave. Tickets: NothingWithoutACompany.org; $10-$20; free on select days. Runs through: June 3 ...


Gay News

Critics'Picks 2018-05-16 - Buddy, American Blues Theater at Stage 773, through May 26. Far more concert than story, the short, mostly sweet life of Buddy Holly ...


Gay News

Theater Spotlight on Don Quixote 2018-05-16 - Think Don Quixote, and most invariably think one of a ziggitygillion crooners going for the money notes in "The Impossible Dream." If you ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Flies! The Musical! 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Cindy O'Connor ( music ), Larry Todd Cousineau ( book and lyrics ) At: Pride Films and Plays at The Broadway, Pride ...


Gay News

Second City to host Pride sketch show 2018-05-16 - The Second City has announced a June run for "The Second City's Let's Make It Perfectly Queer: A Salute to Pride," a sketch ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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
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 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.