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 2020-03-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Lipstick Lobotomy
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2020-02-18

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Krista Knight

At: Trap Door Theater, 1655 W. Cortland Ave. Tickets: $20-$25; Trapdoor.ticketleap.com . Runs through: March 21

Home, goes the adage, is where they have to take you in, but if you're an adult female viewed by your kin as a liability to its tribal aspirations, you might find yourself sequestered under the surveillance of gentle-but-firm warders in some remote retreat providing palliative care to the infirm of mind, body or impulse control—sanitariums having supplanted convents as cloistered residences befitting ladies of sheltered upbringing.

Among the cruelties cited in the demystification of the once-revered Kennedy clan is its patriarch's decision in 1941 to subject his eldest daughter to a then-experimental psychosurgery known today as prefrontal lobotomy, all other methods of curtailing her incorrigible behavior having failed to reduce its threat to the family advancement.

This isn't the story that Krista Knight is here to recount, however. While Rosemary Kennedy may be the celebrity "guest" at the fictional Institute For Living, our protagonist is one Virginia Harrison Hamann—"Ginny" to her friends—on whose real-life journals her great-niece's play is based. In contrast to the headstrong heiress who becomes her confidante in this likewise fictional tale, Ginny's search for escape from the depression rendering her imperfect in the eyes of her demanding father leads her to embrace the often-unproven therapies offered by eager doctors looking to make their reputations.

While the power invested in male authorities may lie at the source of the atrocities inflicted upon the women of their day, the prejudices of a rarified society in mid-century North America, as depicted by Knight, must also share the blame. After Ginny reveals her Jewish ancestry, Rosemary's reflexive rejection sparks the retort "Well, you're Catholic! That's just as bad!" In an atmosphere of xenophobia arising from the possibility of war with Germany, uncertified childbirths and fraternization with divorcees are regarded as impediments to an Irish immigrant family with political ambitions like the Kennedys.

Trap Door Theatre makes no attempt to reproduce the full spectrum of a well-endowed "health" resort, but instead relies on Jacqueline Froly's jungle-gym climbing apparatus to suggest the Institute's indoor and outdoor furnishings, from recreational facilities to cells equipped with restraints and cephalogrammic electrodes ( playgoers prone to hospital nightmares might want to look away during the cerebral amputation scene ). Providing the thematic undercurrent for Knight's narrative is Mike Mazzocca's score linking Irving Berlin's patriotic anthem "God Bless America" ( the cadence-chant prescribed for daily exercises ) with the infantile ditty "Animal Crackers."

Kate Hendrikson's direction is additionally enlivened by such presentational devices as grotesque fixed-smile masks, Brechtian title cards and age/ethnic-fluid casting, but what remains in our memories afterward ( besides a deep suspicion of medical science ) is the empathy generated by Ann Sonneville and Abby Blankenship in the roles of the forlorn damsels whose thwarted potential might have brought them peace and contentment in a more enlightened world.


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

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Teenage Dick 2020-03-27 - Playwright: Mike Lew At: Theater Wit ( on line streaming only ) Tickets: TheaterWit.org; $28. Runs through: April 19 In a ...


Gay News

Raven Theatre postpones world premiere of Eden Prairie, 1971 due to COVID-19 2020-03-26 - CHICAGO ( March 25, 2020 ) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Raven Theatre today announced it will postpone its upcoming world ...


Gay News

Tony Awards to be postponed; no new date set 2020-03-25 - The 74th Annual Tony Awards—scheduled to air live on CBS on Sunday, June 7 from New York's Radio City Music Hall—has been postponed ...


Gay News

'Around Broadway' to honor high-school musical-theater students 2020-03-25 - Broadway In Chicago has announced its new social-media program, "Around Broadway in 80 Days." In the wake of the cancellation of The Jimmy ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Terrence McNally dies of coronavirus complications at 81 2020-03-24 - Terrence McNally—a four-time Tony winner who wrote musicals and plays such as Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Full Monty and Kiss of the ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions Announces 2020 Season 2020-03-24 - CHICAGO, IL ( March 23, 2020 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its 2020 Season, plus a move ...


Gay News

Broadway in Chicago updates changes in show schedules 2020-03-24 - (Chicago, March 24, 2020) The safety and health of our patrons, staff and theatrical companies is our top priority. In response to the ...


Gay News

World premiere of Notes & Letters postponed due to Coronavirus 2020-03-23 - CHICAGO ( March 23, 2020 ) — In response to the coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) pandemic, Underscore Theatre Company today announced it will ...


Gay News

Poisoned: A Snow White Rock Musical postponed 2020-03-23 - Statement from Michael Galloway of Pan's Flute Productions: In an effort to do our part in mitigating the spread of Covid-19, we ...


Gay News

Streamed theater review, Methtacular! 2020-03-22 - By: Steven Strafford Via: 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. Tickets: 708-795-6704 or 16thstreettheater.org; $12 per person/on your honor. Available through: April ...


 



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.