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 2017-11-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW In to America
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2017-04-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: William Massolia. At: Griffin Theatre at The Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 866-811-4111; GriffinTheatre.com; $36. Runs through: April 23

A large ensemble cast in an intimate space presents the United States' history, from the Jamestown settlement until today, as told through the words of America's immigrants—which is all of us who aren't Native American. A few famous folk appear but most are ordinary men and women from early French, English and Scottish colonists, to the forced immigration of slaves and indentured servants, to Eastern Europeans at the turn of the last century, to today's Asian and African refugees.

Playwright William Massolia's documentary approach provides several unusual perspectives, such as treating the 20th-century "Great Migration" of Blacks from the South to the North as an immigrant class, and noting Mexican immigration to California long before it was a United States territory. Ms. Liberty and Ellis Island are there, of course, but so is Angel Island, the West Coast gateway for Asian immigrants.

Above all, Massolia highlights repetitive patterns in our immigration history, from the persecutions which drove many to this country, to the high aspirations which continue to inspire new-comers, to darker patterns of ignorance and intolerance from those who arrived earlier towards later arrivals of different nationalities, religions or races. America has welcomed millions to our Golden Shore, but nonetheless always has had prejudicial laws, sometimes targeting Chinese or Japanese, sometimes Jews or Muslims. It's the same, to this very hour.

In To America is intelligent, revealing and sometimes biting. It's not a play, however, in the sense of continuing characters and ongoing action. Its 400-year chronology is the only arc. Think of it as a spoken word concert presentation. Indeed, the addition of appropriate live music might turn it into a legitimate concert piece. The work has occasional humor but is generally solemn. Surprisingly, In To America largely ignores the immigration of Eastern European Jews between the 1870s and 1920s—a significant omission. Labor leader Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor, is cited without being identified as an immigrant or a Jew ( and he was both ). It's sadly ironic that his voice is one of bigotry, quoted in support of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

The production is seamlessly staged by Dorothy Milne, vastly experienced in stage adaptations of non-dramatic literature. Her multicultural cast of 13, all playing multiple roles, flows smoothly between pools of light ( Lee Fiskness ) or a simple, open setting ( Joe Schermoly ). They wear costumes ( Rachel Sypniewski ) with a homespun look evoking many times and places with no need for absolute specificity. Milne, Fiskness, Schermoly, Sypniewski, 13 actors, playwright Massolia, critic Abarbanel—In To America is our story.


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

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater tours in Chicago March 2018 2017-11-17 - Following a five-week season launch in New York City, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will continue to grace stages from coast to coast ...


Gay News

"Steamworks: The Musical" on stage New Year's Eve 2017-11-16 - Chicago IL — November 15, 2017—The popular Annoyance Theatre comedy "Steamworks: The Musical" is coming back for one night only to finish off ...


Gay News

The Music Box Theatre to present The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long 2017-11-16 - Every year, The Music Box Theatre celebrates Thanksgiving weekend with special sing-a-long presentations of the classic Julie Andrews musical, in glorious, full-screen Technicolor. ...


Gay News

Fantastic in any language: Talking with Marlow La Fantastique 2017-11-15 - A staple at the famous West Berlin cabaret Chez Nous, Marlow La Fantastique has taken the art of drag and her legendary fan ...


Gay News

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT A trans opera journey 'As One' 2017-11-15 - As One is a 2014 chamber opera exploring a transgender woman's journey of self-realization and acceptance. Commissioned by American Opera Projects, As One ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White 2017-11-15 - Playwright: Alice Childress At: The Artistic Home. 1376 W. Grand Ave. Tickets: $28-$32. Runs through: Dec. 17 The year of ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Dream Freaks Fall from Space 2017-11-15 - Playwright: Kelsey Kinney, Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Tien Tran and Nate Varrone At: Second City, 1616 N. Wells St. Tickets: $29-$46. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Significant Other 2017-11-15 - Playwright: Joshua Harmon At: About Face Theatre and Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-975-8150; AboutFaceTheatre.com; TheaterWit.org; $20-$38. Runs through: Dec. 9 ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2017-11-15 - The Audience, Timeline Theatre Company, extended through Dec. 3. Like the cat in the nursery rhyme, Chicago playgoers can visit the queen in ...


Gay News

Theater spotlight on three distressing one-man shows 2017-11-15 - Controversial monologist Mike Daisey returns to Chicago's Theater Wit for a series of three distressing one-man shows. This Is Not Normal is a ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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.