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 2019-10-30
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER REVIEW Even Longer and Farther Away
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Chelsea Marcantel. At: The New Colony at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets:; $20-$25. Runs through: May 15

There are a lot of well-worn character stereotypes and storytelling tropes in Even Longer and Farther Away, Chelsea Marcantel's world-premiere drama for The New Colony. Yet director Thrisa Hodits' displays a clever way of rethinking a Den Theatre space to initially throw off audiences in a slightly off-kilter environmental staging. It all helps to makes Marcantel's patchy and symbol-filled material feel more substantial.

While some audience members are allowed to sit back in traditional theater seats lining the perimeter, Hodits allows others to be in the middle of the action by sitting at tables in a quirky and magical Appalachian Mountain resort. This creates an interesting dynamic as audience members get up close and personal to the main characters.

Yet as the play progresses, the onstage audience is apparently meant to disappear when the main conflict arises as Alexis ( Amanda Raquel Martinez ) and her boyfriend, Jack ( Joe Lino ), amazingly catch up with her embittered half-brother Elliot ( Patriac Coakley ) and his gay best friend, Roy ( Omer Abbas Salem ). Both half-siblings are trying to honor their late father by hiking the entire Appalachian Trail with part of his cremated remains, but Elliot has far more personal baggage.

Also working through her lost longing and resentment is the youngish resort employee Nayda ( Morgan McNaught ), who has what becomes an odd familial relationship to the place's owner, Trudy ( a commanding and comforting Deanna Reed-Foster ). Elliot wants to press on, but Trudy insists that they listen to her metaphoric and literal stories and stay for the next day's festival.

Finding out the interlinking connections between the characters keeps interest throughout Even Longer and Farther Away, but it doesn't hide the fact that Marcantel's writing also trades in stereotypical characters like the "magical negro" or the "sassy gay friend." Luckily, the performances under Hodits' direction make these types more full-bodied and well-rounded people, especially in dedicated turns by Reed-Foster and Salem.

There's also a good sibling rivalry dynamic that plays out between Coakley ( unafraid to be unlikable as the pushy and resentful Elliot ) and Martinez ( ever the mender, as Alexis ). Lino also milks the most humor he can in the smaller role of Jack.

I only wish that McNaught brought more apparent world-weariness to Nayda, who is later revealed to be more than she appears to be. Once this revelation happens, McNaught's even-keel performance doesn't seem to plumb the depths necessary for her troubled character.

Even though Marcantel's writing in Even Longer and Farther Away is ultimately uneven, the creative staging by Hodits and her largely polished cast serve to be intriguing concealers. Here it's the approach that is sometimes more intriguing than the content.

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.


Gay News

YEPP fall fundraiser Nov. 13 at Theater Works 2019-11-10 - Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) will hold its inaugural fall fundraiser, "Rise Up: A Celebration of Resilience" Wed., Nov. 13, 6-9 ...

Gay News

'Rip Nelson Celebrity Roast' Nov. 9 2019-11-08 - Hell in a Handbag Productions will present its annual benefit, The Rip Nelson Celebrity Roast, on Saturday, Nov. 9, 6-11 p.m., at Ebenezer ...

Gay News

Pride Films and Plays' "The Christmas Foundling" cast announced 2019-11-08 - Cast announced for Pride Films and Plays production of Norman Allen's THE CHRISTMAS FOUNDLING, opening to the press on December 7 and playing ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Laura and the Sea 2019-11-08 - Playwright: Kate Tarker At: Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Ave.. Tickets: 773-334-7728; $38. Runs through: Dec. 8 "The mind is ...

Gay News

Bette: Xmas at the Continental Baths opens Dec. 7 2019-11-06 - CHICAGO ( November 6, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to bring back its steamy cabaret sensation — with ...

Gay News

Drag star's "All I Want for Christmas is Attention" tour Dec. 10 2019-11-06 - Seattle sisters and drag superstars BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon have joined forces once again to present a new holiday extravaganza, All I Want ...

Gay News

Oscar 2020 kickoff party Nov. 13 2019-11-04 - The "A Night With Oscar 2020" kickoff party—featuring a Chicago ball scene talk back—will take place Wed., Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. at ...

Gay News

'Drag Race' alums bring holiday show to Chicago Dec. 10 2019-11-03 - Drag queens and RuPaul's Drag Race alumni BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon have joined forces once again to present a new holiday extravaganza, "All ...

Gay News

'Boys in the Band' starting Jan. 29 2019-11-03 - Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd., is presenting Mart Crowley's groundbreaking play, The Boys in the Band, directed by Playhouse Associate ...

Gay News

Internship applications being taken at Oak Park theater 2019-11-03 - Oak Park Festival Theatre is accepting applications for summer internships. Every year, 10-15 young people are accepted into the internship program from across ...


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.







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.