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 Linda Vista
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2017-04-19

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Tracy Letts. At: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: $20-$94. Runs through: May 21

It's been said of the United States that everything not fastened down eventually rolls westward to California, so it's unsurprising that we meet our AARP-aged protagonist adrift in San Diego, where cheap bachelor apartments come with two bedrooms, a swimming pool, cactus-fruit margaritas and a Vietnamese immigrant colony next door. A series of disconcerting events—the birth of his son, his wife's wish to be near her family and his pending divorce—have conspired to convince former Chicago news photographer-turned-camera repairman Dick Wheeler that he is a terminal screw-up whose every scheme is doomed to end in shame.

Well, some men—and women, too—are simply not meant to move mountains or spawn dynasties. The wise ones freely acknowledge their aversion to conventional career-paths, thus minimizing the damage to themselves and their less perceptive acquaintances. Wheeler has not yet achieved this epiphany, however, instead chafing under discontent propelling him to engage in rants so protracted and vehement, you'd think this was a play by David Mamet and not Tracy Letts.

Wheeler's misanthropic outlook is not improved by his married friends rushing to pair him with a needy "life coach" ( who whines, after just one month, "I thought we were falling in love!" ) nor by his subsequent preoccupation with a pregnant waif who feels stifled by his overeager efforts at second-fatherhood. Only when our aging pilgrim abandons the expectations imposed on him and returns to his natural calling as, not a shaper, but an observer of his universe, do we see glimmers of redemption.

Given the alternatives Letts offers, redemption comes none too soon: Wheeler's best buddy, Paul, is more resigned than content with his marital lot, while camera-shop owner Michael's recitations of pornographic fantasies is bred of isolation, rather than libido. Three of the four women figuring in Wheeler's existential journey fare no better, being illustrative of different stages in the futile quest for fulfillment-through-partnership, leaving Wheeler's friendly coworker the sole individual exhibiting the patience and savvy to determine her destination before inviting others to follow.

These characters could easily be refitted to the dimensions of a TV comedy, but the always-intelligent director Dexter Bullard rejects threadbare Mars/Venus guffaws to draw forth performances steeped in insight and compassion from a cast of Steppenwolf's finest. If you have ever known a Wheeler—or maybe you are a Wheeler—you will have no trouble empathizing with this flawed hero for a perplexing age.


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

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. ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-04-18 - The Gentleman Caller, Raven Theatre, extended through May 27. You can see this play because it's so literary or because it's so gol-durn ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Lettie 2018-04-18 - Playwright: Boo Killebrew At: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000; VictoryGardens.org; $15-$56. Runs through: May 6 Sometimes a ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Midsummer Night's Dream 2018-04-18 - When the Joffrey Ballet takes on Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman's Midsummer Night's Dream, the performance will be a world away from Shakespeare's original. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW 9 to 5 The Musical 2018-04-18 - Music and lyrics: Dolly Parton Book: Patricia Resnick. At: Firebrand Theatre at the Den Theatre, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: $20-$45; FirebrandTheatre.org. Runs ...


 



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.