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 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Theater Editor
2008-06-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Jacques Brel,

translated by Arnold Johnston

At: Theo Ubique Theatre Company

at No Exit Café, N. Glenwood,

6970 N. Greenwood

Phone: 773-370-0235; $20

Runs through: Aug. 30

Photo courtesy of Theo Ubique Theatre

One of the most recognizable songs by Belgian-French singer and composer Jacques Brel is 'Ne me quitte pas,' best known in English as 'If You Go Away,' as translated by Rod McKuen. But the literal meaning of the French phrase is 'Don't leave me.' There's a big difference in tone between McKuen's future conditional version and the passionate imperative of the literal translation.

Theo Ubique Theatre Company previously had great success with a revue of Brel songs using the standard and familiar translations, but came to know the material well enough to understand something was missing—something in the nature of raw, rough poetry found in Brel's slangy original French. So for this new show, they set about creating their own renditions with translator Arnold Johnston. Those familiar with the famous revue Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris may miss famous tunes such as Carousel and If We Only Had Time, but will find other well-known numbers freshly revealed, such as Amsterdam and the Song of Jacky. There are new gems, too, as Lonesome Losers of the Night introduces unfamiliar Brel songs.

The 90-minute show has the loosest of structures: Two soldiers stop by a waterfront bar and share stories, drinks and time with the bartender and the local hooker through songs of longing, songs of lust, songs of drinking, songs of betrayal and songs of ego, a Brel specialty. Johnston's translations are wonderfully vigorous, colorfully colloquial, deliciously vulgar and sometimes unexpectedly poetic. The Song of Jacky is one of Brel's egotistical tunes, famous from the earlier Jacques Brel revue for its catch-line 'cute, cute, cute in a stupid-ass way.' In Johnston's version, the line is rendered 'handsome and dumb and an absolute shit.'

Just two songs later, in a striking change of tone, Johnston, music director Joshua Stephen Kartes and director Fred Anzevino, offer a profound reminiscence of childhood, 'Mon Enfance,' with the powerful image of 'winters spent in the womb of the family home/A great ship of stone ... What surprised me the most was to be part of a clan/Who had taught me to cry for my innocence lost.' I don't mind saying this unfamiliar Brel treasure blew me away.

The four singers are veterans Jeremy Trager, Jenny Lamb, Eric Martin and Chicago newcomer Chris Damiano: attractive—even sexy—players who blend well together in several tight harmony sections and also have their individual moments to shine. Staging is relatively simple in the intimate No Exit Café ( food and non-alcoholic drinks available ) , with a small bar set, the piano and the occasional use of café aisles.

To close with the cliché, Lonesome Losers of the Night is a winner.


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

47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards postponed 2020-06-03 - June 3, 2020 — Chicago — The 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards program has been postponed. Originally scheduled as a virtual gathering for Monday, ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Improv House Party 2020-06-03 - Playwright: Second City ensemble. At: Second City online, at SecondCity.com. Tickets: Free. Runs through: June 13 All of Chicago's theaters, along ...


Gay News

THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30 - Larry Kramer was an angry man and he made sure people knew it. The language of his public discourse—the hundreds of articles he ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards Nominee Night cabaret concert online June 1 2020-05-29 - The Non-Equity Jeff Awards Nominee Night concert, a version of the annual event at Sidetrack to showcase Jeff Award nominees, will be broadcast ...


Gay News

Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27 - Chita: A Legendary Celebration , Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' one-night-only evening of song and dance celebrating the legendary Chita Rivera , returns this ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27 - Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright unveiled the latest single from his eagerly anticipated new pop album, Unfollow the Rules, a press release noted. "Alone ...


Gay News

THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26 - The upheaval of the Stonewall riots had barely settled before the weekend preceding Independence Day was set aside to honor the right of ...


Gay News

BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26 - In response to the stay-at-home and social distancing orders implemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, BAMtheatre has reimagined its musical theatre-focused programming through a ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman Executive 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 ...


 



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.