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 2019-09-04
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 An Oak Tree
by Sarah Katherine Bowden
2018-11-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By Tim Crouch

At The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: RedTheater.org; $20-$22. Runs through: Dec. 9

Red Theater's An Oak Tree opens with one actor announcing the concept of the performance.

Gage Wallace, also known as The Hypnotist, explains that he has memorized and rehearsed the play. The second actor invited onto the stage has never attended a single rehearsal or even read the script. At each performance, the second actor will be played by a different Chicago artist. Such high-wire theatricality is a staple for Red Theater, but its deployment in one of the Athenaeum Theatre's small studio spaces makes for an intimate and quizzical experience.

The opening-night performance saw Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel as the second performer. Wallace informed Gonzalez-Cadel that she was playing the father of a little girl who died in a car accident, in which Wallace was the driver. Gonzalez-Cruz has appeared during Wallace's hypnotist show, and is looking for a reckoning.

Director Jeremy Aluma, who also worked with Red on The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, is a good match for Tim Crouch's discursive script. Bits of dialogue that involve the actors speaking in character are interspersed with moments where the second actor questions motives and emotions and asks basic script questions one might have in a rehearsal. Aluma keeps Wallace confident but light, having him simply and humorously engage his scene partner with clear encouragement about a tough exercise. Aluma keeps the staging simple, with Wallace pantomining other characters experiencing hypnosis onstage, and with overturned chairs forming the obstacles that pop up between the characters. A piano stool comes to mean far more than it initially seems by play's end.

Wallace has a good-natured way about him, which makes him a safe guide for the evening, as he asks Gonzalez-Cadel to repeat dialogue he proclaims, or asks his scene partner to take a seat or stand to the side. Gonzalez-Cadel was open and strong in their choices during the performance, no easy feat when one doesn't know what emotional experiences will be had during an evening. One of the curious things about this performance piece is that Wallace whispers many directions to the second actor, so the audience isn't actually privy to the full experience being shared. In some ways, we are left in the dark a bit about the process, just as we would be during the alchemy of a more traditional performance. And that confuses the central metaphor about belief and creation a bit.

Set designer Alex Casillas frames the stage with red curtains, giving the show a vaudeville, punchy feel, while Abby Beggs' lights and John Nichols III's sound generate an ethereal series of flashbacks. If the production seems half-planned and half-spontaneous, and we must jump between the two, it remains worth the leap.


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

About Face Theatre Announces Complete 2019-2020 Season 2019-09-15 - The About Face Theatre season will feature three hyper-intimate main stage productions that reveal multiple perspectives within the LGBTQ+ community, along with our ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf for Young Adults to premier The Brothers Size 2019-09-12 - CHICAGO ( September 10, 2019 ) — Returning to the stage for the first time since its celebrated Chicago premiere, Steppenwolf for Young ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater to present The Be Gala 2019 2019-09-12 - Chicago, IL—The acclaimed Black Ensemble Theater, led by Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, celebrates 43 years of musical theater excellence in Chicago with ...


Gay News

LEZFEST, with queer female and non-binary performance artists, expands 2019-09-12 - LEZFEST, a presentation and celebration of queer female and non-binary performance artists, expands to two nights - Tuesday October 22 and Wednesday October ...


Gay News

Theater: Be Here Now 2019-09-11 - Playwright: Deborah Zoe Laufer At: Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: ShatteredGlobe.org 773-925-8150; $42 Runs through: Oct. 19 ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company begins 44th Season with The Great Leap 2019-09-11 - CHICAGO ( September 10, 2019 ) — Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2019/20 season of complex, beautiful and maddening theater kicks off with a thrilling ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-09-10 - You Can't Fake the Funk, Black Ensemble through Sept. 22—Funk music tribute with two dozen '60s, '70s and early '80s songs, exceptionally well ...


Gay News

Architecture Center announces new neighborhoods, Year of Chicago Theatre trail 2019-09-10 - CHICAGO ( Sept. 10, 2019 ) — The Chicago Architecture Center ( CAC ) today announced the full roster of neighborhoods and sites ...


Gay News

YEPP director receives theater award 2019-09-09 - On Aug. 8, Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) Executive/Artistic Director Bonsai Bermudez received the "Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement" ...


Gay News

Janus' 'Camelot' has female-identifying Lancelot 2019-09-09 - Janus Concert Series ( with Artistic Director Kaitlin Galetti ) kicks off its sophomore season with a full concert production of Lerner and ...


 



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.