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 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW: Constellations
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-06-08

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Nick Payne

At: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.

Tickets: 312-335-1650 or Steppenwolf.org; $20-$89

Runs through: July 3

It may only last 80 minutes, but British playwright Nick Payne sure does pack in plenty in his thoughtful and heartbreaking 2012 drama Constellations. Now making a strong Chicago debut in Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre, Constellations wows because it rapidly fires on so many neurological synapses.

At its basic level, Constellations is a two-hander about a modern British couple consisting of a theoretical physicist named Marianne ( Jessie Fisher ) and a professional beekeeper named Roland ( Jon Michael Hill ). But with these two, Payne constructs an expansive universe of randomness ( and a lot of comic relief ) from parallel-world possibilities via speedy repetition and variations.

Payne provides an inordinate amount of second-guessing to how things could have or might have been between Roland and Marianne based upon a number of factors. These could range from whether one chooses to laugh at a ribald joke or how busy she might be at work on a particular day.

But crucially, the audience comes to care for these initially mismatched people who fall in ( and out ) of love. Alas, a debilitating and hard-wired illness is foreshadowed and eventually revealed, forcing both Marianne and Roland to consider a panoply of tough choices in how to cope with it.

Now Hill and Fisher truly get a dramatic workout respectively performing Roland and Marianne. Because the snappy script contains so many repeated lines, Constellations must have been a nightmare to memorize. But the two play off each other compellingly and keep each other crucially on track. They also add plenty of layers, especially when you question whether the characters are being truthful or saying outright lies to each other.

Under the assured direction of Jonathan Berry, Hill and Fisher both illuminate the many complexities of Constellations. But crucially, all three delve into the emotions that either bursts out in gales or lies hidden depending upon each individual dramatic beat.

Set designer Joe Schermoly creates a basic playing area that is highly suggestive of an abstracted sliced section of a brain. And with the aid of lighting designer Heather Gilbert, clusters of oversize ropes suggest nerves that electrically glow for racing thoughts or bodily impulses.

As involving as Marianne and Roland's life-and-death love story is in Constellations, Payne's drama also has the potential to prod audiences to contemplate their own existence and relationships that may have formed just as much by chance or randomness. Constellations is a heady and challenging work, but thankfully the cast and crew at Steppenwolf are more than up to the task of illustrating all its glorious intricacies and variables.


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

Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27 - Chita: A Legendary Celebration , Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' one-night-only evening of song and dance celebrating the legendary Chita Rivera , returns this ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27 - Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright unveiled the latest single from his eagerly anticipated new pop album, Unfollow the Rules, a press release noted. "Alone ...


Gay News

THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26 - The upheaval of the Stonewall riots had barely settled before the weekend preceding Independence Day was set aside to honor the right of ...


Gay News

BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26 - In response to the stay-at-home and social distancing orders implemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, BAMtheatre has reimagined its musical theatre-focused programming through a ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane 2020-05-25 - You can call yourself whatever you want. Nobody says you can't have a different name every day, if that's your wish. Reinvent your ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman Executive Director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22 - Playwright: Jocelyn Bioh At: Goodman Theatre online at GoodmanTheatre.org/StreamSchoolGirls. Tickets: $20. Runs through: May 31 Ranking in popularity on the list of ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21 - Playwright: Philip Dawkins At: Sideshow Theatre online. Tickets: SideshowTheatre.org; $5+ ( pay what you can ). Runs through: Open run Playwright Philip ...


Gay News

Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21 - In response to the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced that the upcoming engagement of Disney's Frozen—originally scheduled to run ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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.