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 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW 3C
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-05-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: David Adjmi. At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722 or ARedOrchidTheatre.org; $30-$35. Runs through: June 4

Is there is such a thing as bait-and-switch whiplash? If so, audiences catching A Red Orchid Theatre's Chicago premiere of 3C might want to brace themselves in advance.

David Adjmi's play is a comically critical deconstruction of the hit TV sitcom Three's Company, which ran on ABC from 1977 to 1984. 3C starts off like any campy pop-cultural spoof you'd expect from a scrappy theater company. ( Hell in Handbag Productions comes to mind, though minus the drag. )

But midway through, 3C takes several dark and serious turns as it depicts frank instances of alcoholism, drug use, homophobia and unwanted sexual assaults. It's as if Adjmi wants audiences to seriously rethink their laughter at 1970s attitudes and sitcom situations that cause his characters so much physical and emotional trauma.

Understandably, the rights holders to Three's Company wanted to put the kibosh on 3C after its 2012 off-Broadway debut. But Adjmi successfully sued in a court on free-speech grounds to show that 3C is a critical parody.

Currently free from litigation, 3C is likely to divide Chicago audiences—especially if they don't want to be overly analytical about what is typically written off as sitcom fluff. But director Shade Murray and his top-flight acting ensemble deliver the goods at being hilariously zany while also delivering all the fraught drama of 3C.

Sigrid Sutter is wonderful as the ditzy blonde Connie. Her beauty and success at attracting men pushes several body-image and self-confidence buttons of her more responsible cash-strapped roommate, Linda ( a heartbreaking Christina Gorman ).

The accident-prone Brad ( an excellent Nick Mikula ) is passed off as gay so he can be the girls' new roommate, but this ploy puts him into very uncomfortable situations. Both upstairs ladies-man neighbor Terry ( a louche Steve Haggard ) and landlord Mr. Wicker ( a menacing Lawrence Grimm ) say some really confusing and threatening things.

But the most memorable comic work comes from Jennifer Engstrom, as Mrs. Wicker. With her scratchy voice and oversize personality, Engstrom masterfully straddles both the duality of being a sitcom eccentric and an unstable woman who truly needs pharmaceutical help.

On top of the masterful performances, A Red Orchid's 3C is also a visual winner at creating a very beige 1970s sitcom world. Both the sturdy stuccoed walls of set designer Sarah JHP Watkins and the gloriously tacky outfits by costume designer Myron Elliott capture the era perfectly.

The tonal shifts of 3C can be upsetting and extreme. However, 3C does powerfully suggest that there can be palpable pain behind all those sitcom laughs.


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

THEATER SPOTLIGHT 33 to Nothing 2018-04-25 - If you were ever obsessed ( mildly or otherwise ) with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, you'll want to check out 33 to ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW A Blue Island in the Red Sea 2018-04-25 - Playwright: Anthony Moseley At: Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 312-226-9633; Collaboraction.org; $5-$30. Runs through: May ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Doppelganger (an international farce) 2018-04-25 - Playwright: Matthew-Lee Urlbach At: The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. Tickets: 312-335-1650. Steppenwolf.org; $20-$114. Runs through: June 2 You'll ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Grand Hotel 2018-04-25 - Playwright: Robert Wright, George Forrest ( music and lyrics ); Maury Yeston ( additional music and lyrics ). At: Kokandy Productions at ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Disaster! 2018-04-25 - Playwrights: Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick At: The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. Tickets: 773-999-9541; ChicagoTheatreWorkshop.org; $ 32.50-42.50. Runs through: May 6 Chicago ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Oklahoma 2018-04-25 - Written by: Rogers and Hammerstein At: Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $55-60. Runs through: June 10 During intermission of ...


Gay News

Springfield drag show April 28 2018-04-25 - On Saturday, April 28, the Phoenix Center will present Springfield Pridefest Club LaCage Drag Show at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, Theatre ...


Gay News

Bridge Dance Festival through May 6 2018-04-25 - The Bridge Dance Festival—the culmination of four years of Japanese focused programming at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave., including the National Performance ...


Gay News

'Catechism' marking 25th anniv. on June 3 2018-04-25 - A special 25th-anniversary performance of Late Night Catechism will be held Sunday, June 3, at 2 p.m. at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 ...


Gay News

'Cornerstone' at ArtSpace 8 in April 2018-04-25 - Chicago non-profit theater company Nothing Without a Company has announced the location and cast of its next show, Cornerstone. The production will ...


 



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

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.