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 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Hang Man
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-03-21

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Stacy Osei-Kuffour

At: Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: 773-283-7071; TheGiftTheatre.org; $30-$40. Runs through: April 29

Whether it's the play itself, the production or a combination of both, this world premiere of Hang Man is not successful. It's performed as relentless tragedy but there's no tragic hero. It has a supernatural element but it's not presented as a horror-thriller, which it might have been. It could be very dark comedy—especially as absurdity piles on top of absurdity—but neither the play nor the direction by Jess McLeod ever gives the audience permission to laugh, which comedy must do.

It's set "Now" in "a shit town in Mississippi" but it might as well be the 1950s. A Black man, Darnell ( Gregory Fenner ), hangs from a tree before us the entire play, speaking from the grave to explain his unhappy life—broken home, mother who didn't want him—and how he died. Soon after, we meet Darnell's sister Sage ( Jennifer Glasse ) and 12-year old niece ( Mariah Sidnei Gordon ), but not before meeting the three dumbest white folks who ever walked the earth. Darnell hangs in a place where lovers tryst and kids walk to school, and is seen by the white characters and his niece ( who supernaturally converses with him ), yet no one reports his death to the police. Indeed, one character is the police, a rookie cop who knows Darnell.

Almost immediately, Hang Man veers towards the white characters: waitress Margarie ( Angela Morris ), her abusive husband or boyfriend ( never made clear ) Archie ( very scary Paul D'Addario ) and Wipp the rookie ( Andy Fleischer ), with whom Margarie—four weeks pregnant—is two-timing. All three are retrograde racists, Archie profoundly so. Margarie sexually fixates on dead Darnell and seeks Black identity. She reads up on slavery ( apparently not taught in school ), and then goes psycho. She dons an Afro wig, smears her cheeks in blackface and claims Darnell fathered her newborn babe ( apparently a kidnapped infant ), but not before Wipp gives her his service revolver ( can you imagine? ) with deadly results. A final character, Jahaad ( Martel Manning ), is a Black Muslim from New York who wants money Darnell owes him. Jahaad woos Sage without success, and has utterly no impact on the story, so why is he there?

The Black and white characters also have little collective impact on each other, as Hang Man shifts focus between them, except that Margarie's lunacy is triggered by seeing Darnell. The brutal white storyline is far more active than the Black one, so it easily dominates Hang Man to little purpose except, perhaps, shock value. The very good actors perform with plenty of heart and intensity, so Hang Man's inadequacies aren't theirs. Osei-Kuffour must decide what focus and tone she wants to achieve, and revise Hang Man accordingly.


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

The Play That Goes Wrong 2018-12-12 - Playwright: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com . Runs through: Dec. 16. ...


Gay News

Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2018-12-12 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...


Gay News

The Second City 107th Mainstage Revue, Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo 2018-12-11 - Writers: Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Emma Pope, Nate Varrone, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn At: The Second City Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells ...


Gay News

T.R. Knight talks about upcoming 'Dream' role 2018-12-11 - T.R. Knight might still be best known for his five-season run as Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's Grey's Anatomy—and for the infamous 2007 ...


Gay News

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins 2018-12-10 - Author: Michael Daily, from the book by Eric Kimmel At: Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. Tickets: strawdog.org; $20-$25. Runs through: Jan. 5 ...


Gay News

The Santaland Diaries 2018-12-10 - Playwright: Steve Scott, adapted from the essay by David Sedaris At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $15-45; GoodmanTheatre.org . Runs through: ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-12-10 - Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque, ( Sub )version Productions at Reggie's Music Joint, through Dec. 26. Fan-dancing snowflakes, a glass-eating "Calavera Catrina" and a ...


Gay News

Stomp 2018-12-10 - By: Luke Cresswell and Steve MacNicholas At: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St.. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com; $39-$84. Runs through: Dec. ...


Gay News

Les Miserables comes to Cadillac Palace Theatre July 2019 2018-12-10 - CHICAGO ( December 10, 2018 ) Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg's Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Miserables, will ...


Gay News

Twelfth Night 2018-12-10 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: 847-242-6000; WritersTheatre.org; $35-$80. Runs through: Dec. 16 In Shakespeare's mostly rollicking ...


 



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
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.