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 2019-11-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Amour
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-09-14

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Music: Michel Legrand; Libretto: Didier Van Cauwelaert in Jeremy Sams' English adaptation. At: Black Button Eyes Productions at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6875 or AmourChicago.com; $17-$32. Runs through: Oct. 8

There's an odd breed of theater fan that author Ken Mandelbaum labels as "flop collectors" in his 1992 book Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops. These flop collectors are essentially theater aficionados who seek out sinking shows before they close for a lifetime of malicious laughter about what went wrong.

Local flop collectors should be flocking to Black Button Eyes Productions' Chicago premiere of Amour, a Broadway musical that barely eked out 31 previews and 17 performances in 2002. But what they'll find is a beautiful bonbon of show that would have been slotted into Mandelbaum's flop chapter titled "Not Bad."

What helps make Amour stand out is its delightfully melodic sung-through score by prolific Academy Award-winning French composer Michel Legrand, who is probably best known for his film scores to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ( 1964 ) and Yentl ( 1983 ). More problematic is Didier Van Cauwelaert's libretto presented here in Jeremy Sams' mostly amusing English translation.

Amour is inspired by Marcel Aymé's short story Le Passe-Muraille, which is about a mild-mannered Parisian clerk named Dusoleil ( Brian Fimoff ) who discovers he has the power to walk through walls. Amid post-World War II recovery, Dusoleil tests his newfound skills as both a thief to aid an aging prostitute ( Missy Wise ) and to mess with the head of a new domineering boss ( Kevin Webb ).

Yet ultimately, Dusoleil tries to gain the attention of the cloistered Isabelle ( Emily Goldberg ), who is trapped in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful prosecutor ( Greg Zawada ).

Despite its fragrantly French score, Amour is marred by a libretto full of plot holes ( it is never explained how the media gets a hold of Dusoleil's abilities ) and unnecessary character tangents ( as the socialistic painter played by Tommy Thurston doesn't really need a whole song ). Amour's wistfully mixed ending also probably didn't endear it to Broadway audiences.

On the plus side, Black Button Eyes' Amour features an impeccably strong ensemble who all clearly relish singing such gorgeous music and the acting challenges of inhabiting their comical and complex characters. One is almost able to overlook Michael Lewis' set of magenta and orange-colored walls and curtains that would be more appropriate as a unit set for the Arabian Nights rather than a new French fairy tale.

Within such a confined staging space, director Ed Rutherford succeeds at directing Amour's more intimate scenes with bare-bones precision. It's only during the sweeping orchestral moments as we see DuSoleil journey to and from work that Rutherford's staging stumbles a bit.

Flop collectors might be disappointed that Amour isn't an all-out disaster. Instead, audiences can marvel at Legrand's lovely score while also seeing how difficult it can be to successfully stage French whimsy.


facebook twitter 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 REVIEW Rutherford and Son 2019-11-16 - Playwright: Githa Sowerby At: Timeline Theatre Company at Baird Hall, 615 W. Wellington Ave. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com and 773-281-8463; $42. Runs through: Jan. 12 ...


Gay News

Opera Review Don Giovanni 2019-11-15 - Score: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Libretto: Lorenzo Da Ponte At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Tickets: 312-827-5600 or LyricOpera.org; $39-$299.. Runs ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Always … Patsy Cline 2019-11-15 - Back then, stars traveled without entourages, stayed at motels, flew single engine planes and were easier to meet. Houston housewife Louise Seger met ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Packing 2019-11-13 - Playwright: Scott Bradley At: About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-975-8150 or AboutFaceTheatre.com; $20-$38. Runs through Dec. 7 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Romeo and Juliet 2019-11-13 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave. Tickets: ChicagoShakes.com 312-595-5600; $35-$90. Runs through: Dec. 22 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle 2019-11-13 - Playwright: Tearrance Arvelle Chisolm At: Jackalope Theatre Company @ Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway. Tickets: JackalopeTheatre.org; $27-$35. Runs through: Dec. 21 ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-11-13 - The Effect, Strawdog Theatre Company, through Nov. 23: Is love in the brain or in the mind, playwright Lucy Prebble asks, and can ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Sombras Tango Cabaret 2019-11-13 - It's a short run for Sombras Tango Cabaret, only through this weekend, but it promises to be exotic and colorful with the sensuality ...


Gay News

THEATER FEATURE New York theater gets political 2019-11-13 - For the first time in two years, I was in New York City recently to see some theater. I chose three highly political ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Out singer, 'Hamilton,' 'Sense8,' Dolly Parton, Shangela 2019-11-12 - LGBT singer Michael Longoria released a music video for "Kiss Me ( Like They Do In The Movies )," an original song written ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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 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.