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 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas (sic)
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-06-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: David Kersnar & Althos Low

At: Lookingglass Theatre at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. Tickets: 312-337-0665; LookingglassTheatre.org; $45-$80. Run through: Aug. 19

Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas ( plural ), first published in 1869-70, featured meticulous scientific research for its time and a rip-snorting story with secretive Capt. Nemo as the antagonist. So vivid was Nemo—the name ( with Latin/Greek roots ) didn't exist until Verne employed it—that he quickly eclipsed the intended hero and narrator of the tale, French marine biologist Prof. Pierre Aronnax.

When Nemo next appeared in Verne's 1874 follow-up, Mysterious Island, he was the central figure narrating his detailed backstory which was almost entirely missing in 20,000 Leagues. Across nearly two dozen screen adaptations ( the first a 1916 silent film ), the obviously indelible Nemo has been played by Lionel Barrymore, James Mason, Herbert Lom, Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Patrick Stewart, Ben Cross and Jose Ferrer, among others.

For this vigorous new production, adapters David Kersnar ( also the director ) and Althos Low combine Mysterious Island and ( mostly ) 20,000 Leagues to create a complete character arc for Nemo ( intense, thoughtful Kareem Bandealy ), revealed in Mysterious Island to be of South Asian royal heritage. The major alteration is to recast Pierre Aronnax as female Prof. Morgan Aronnax ( Kasey Foster ), and ditto her assistant, Conseil ( Lanise Antoine Shelley ). In the mold of tomb-raider Lara Croft, they are fighting scientists required to use knives and fists. The sex change is handled adroitly in the new/altered text but doesn't impact the plot or final outcome at all, so the sole motive is the opportunity to make contemporary statements about mistaken perceptions ( limitations ) of women in male-dominant cultures. It may not be a distraction but it provides limited value.

This adaptation squarely is about Nemo, who is far more conflicted, outraged and complex than in other portrayals. Ideas of justice, responsibility and morality are raised frequently, along with social roles one may be required to play. Ace Canadian harpooner Ned Lane ( Walter Briggs )—a captive of Nemo's along with Aronnax and Conseil—is a rascal and rule-breaker, so it's interesting to weigh his opposition to rule-breaker Nemo. Is Nemo an archetypal supervillain who wishes to punish the world, or an avatar of a new world order? You decide.

Lookingglass' 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas offers a varied and appealing physical production involving wonderful puppets of ships and sea creatures, agile physical work by the company, some circus skills, exotic costuming, astute lighting and multi-layer scenic design. Nemo's ship, The Nautilus, is not conveyed with specific exterior or interior details so one shouldn't anticipate the literalness of the still-popular 1954 Disney film. Likewise, the attack of the giant squid ( squids in the original ) is a game-changer in the film but not in this production ( nor the novel ), although the puppet technology in both is about equal!


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

Tamale Sepp starts a new chapter 2018-10-17 - Internationally renowned comedian and interdisciplinary performer Tamale Sepp has relocated to the East Coast after serving up 16 years of comedy, performance art, ...


Gay News

Rock 'N' Roll 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Tom Stoppard At: The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand Ave., Tickets: 866-811-4111; TheArtisticHome.org; $34. Runs through: Nov. 18 This is a ...


Gay News

WaistWatchers The Musical 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Alan Jacobsen and Vince Dimura At: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-988-9000 or TheRoyalGeorgeTheatre.com; $45-65. Runs through: Dec. 30 ...


Gay News

Flyin' West 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Pearl Cleage At: American Blues Theater, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-654-3103; AmericanBluesTheater.com; $19-$39. Runs through: Nov. 3 ...


Gay News


A Shire calling: Gay comedian moves from Chicagoland to LA 2018-10-17 - People often have to make big changes in their lives to order to find success. This is no different with Kyle Shire—a ...


Gay News

Eclipsed 2018-10-17 - Playwright: Danai Gurira At Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. Tickets: $18-30; PegasusTheatreChicago.org. Runs through: Nov. 4 "How you gonna ...


Gay News

Crumbs From the Table of Joy 2018-10-17 - Playwright Lynn Nottage At Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St. Tickets: 773-338-2177 or RavenTheatre.com; $15-46. Runs through Nov. 18 Like ...


Gay News

Fun Harmless Warmachine 2018-10-17 - By Fin Coe At Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-697-3830 or TheNewColony.org; $10-20. Runs through: Nov. 4 The New ...


Gay News

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade to light up State St. Oct. 20 2018-10-17 - Arts in the Dark, the magical nighttime Halloween procession, will march down State Street for the first time, Saturday, October 20 from 6 ...


Gay News

Too ghoul for school, theater for the Halloween weekend 2018-10-17 - The weeks surrounding Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, solstice and New Year's are often collectively dubbed the "holiday season" in our multicultural society, but you're ...


 



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

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.