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 Born Ready
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2017-04-05

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Stacie Barra. At: Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St. Tickets: $25; TheFactoryTheater.com . Runs through: April 29

All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard are as celebrated for their manneristic melodrama as for their iconic status in the annals of Hollywood cinema. Factory Theater playwright Stacie Barra's wry parody of the two seminal films reaches beyond simple ridicule, however, instead reflecting a genre not only enjoyable in its own right, but departing from traditional ageist bias to grant the final victory to the proven survivor.

Our protagonist is Marion Kroft, a showbiz veteran through and through, having launched her career as a child actor, and later, as the smartcracking female partner in cabaret comedy. ( Think Sid Caeser and Imogene Coca. ) Our story begins circa 1955, Marion's name recognition and vaudeville experience having successfully adapted to the new small-screen medium of network television, where she now hosts her own variety show. One day, a dancer in the chorus catches her attention—the young country-bred Harriet Houlihan, whose ingratiating overtures soon garner her the mentorship of the show's headliner. As the women's friendship grows, their marketability becomes increasingly dependent on the professional "chemistry" engendered thereby. When the studio bosses propose a plan to put them in competition with one another, each must decide how far she will do to guard her own career.

This kind of emotionally intense material is not easy to play, the slightest misstep risking the narrative's plunge into Charles Busch-style camp—fun, but hardly original. Under Wm. Bullion's direction, though, the characters retain their dignity, never tipping the wink to sportive playgoers prepared to guffaw at the slightest invitation. This doesn't mean that Barra's text is devoid of humor, chiefly arising from the on-air advertisements touting now-unpopular tobacco, pharmaceutical and household products ( along with an anachronistic pitch for a feminine hygiene device unmentionable on real-life television until 1972 ), nor does it shrink from depictions of outrageous behavior drawing audience disapproval inspired, not by alleged gender-linked duplicity, but by the flagrant sexism exhibited by the industry's uniformly white, old and male executives.

Jon Steinhagen's songs, Andria Emerick Brown's dances and Kate Setzer Kamphausen's quasi-Dior gowns re-create period ambience with museum accuracy, as do the onscreen acting styles of Eleanor Katz and Clara Byczkowski in the roles of the doomed heroines. Even if Mad Men-era estrogen and intrigue are not your cup of colortinis, you can always enjoy Factory's nostalgic portrayal of video entertainment's early years.


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

Jeff Award-nominated musical theatre performers on stage May 21 2018-04-23 - Chicago, IL - Pride Films and Plays will again host its annual NOMINEE NIGHT concert showcasing musical theater performers and productions nominated in ...


Gay News

Nominees Announced For the 45th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards 2018-04-23 - Monday, April 23, 2018, Chicago, IL — The Jeff Awards announced today, via a special video at: https://youtu.be/gr97FMaRv08, a total of 115 nominations ...


Gay News

Strawdog Theatre announces 31st Season, "Bravery" 2018-04-22 - CHICAGO - Strawdog Theatre Company and Artistic Directors Michael Dailey, Heath Hays and Anderson Lawfer are proud to announce the company's 31st Season, ...


Gay News

"Striking Out: A Gay Baseball Musical" through June 16 2018-04-22 - CHICAGO - April 20th, 2018 Striking Out: A Gay Baseball Musical is two act musical about the first straight baseball player in a ...


Gay News

Late Nite Catechism celebrates 25 years in Chicago 2018-04-20 - A Chicago original and international hit, Late Nite Catechism turns 25 in the city where it all started. A special anniversary ...


Gay News

Season of Concern hosts 'Cabaret for Care' 2018-04-18 - Season of Concern's 2018 annual benefit titled Cabaret for Care came to the Goodman Theatre on April 9. The evening had donors enjoying ...


Gay News

DANCE PROFILE Getting to know Lucky Plush dancer Aaron-Raheim White 2018-04-18 - How does one go from being a quiet young boy with an unstable home to being a successful Reiki master-teacher and MFA in ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Our Great Tchaikovsky 2018-04-18 - Playwright/Performer: Hershey Felder; Music: Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky At: Steppenwolf Theatre Upstairs, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650 or Steppenwolf.org; $55. Runs through: May ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW 33 to Nothing 2018-04-18 - Playwright/Composer: Grant James Varjas At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722; ARedOrchidTheatre.org; $30-$35. Runs through: May 27 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Ghosts of War 2018-04-18 - Playwright: adapted by William Massolia, from the novel by Ryan Smithson. At: Griffin Theatre Company at The Den, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. ...


 



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.