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 Monticello
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2017-08-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Thomas Geoghegan. At: Aurora Theater Works at the St. Bonaventure Oratory, 1625 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets: $20. Runs through: Sept. 3

The date is July 2, 1826. Former President Thomas Jefferson lies in poor health at Monticello, his debt-ridden home in Virginia, where his nephew Randolph is pressuring the composer of our country's Declaration of Independence to refute his assertion of equality therein, pursuant to incorporating an endorsement of slavery into his Independence Day speech.

On this fatal night, however, Jefferson's habit of inviting students from the nearby university for evening chats precipitates a visit from a cheerful alcohol-abstinent would-be writer named Edgar Allen Poe.

Well, it could have happened. Playwright Thomas Geoghegan's scholarship is sufficiently thorough to permit his bending it slightly in the service of his thesis: that Jefferson's manifesto for a new nation was not the hollow rhetoric of a hypocrite who preached ideas imported from a post-revolution France, but practiced social injustice toward those not sharing his class, gender and ethnicity. Instead, proposes Geoghegan, its author intended it as a call for his fellow citizens to resist tyranny—even of its own government—just as they once resisted English rule.

Geoghegan cannot resist taking a few hindsight potshots at Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists in his portrait of a Jefferson not immune to dishing the dirt on his own colleagues, and in doing so, foreshadowing a turbulent future that, by evening's end, will transform the innocent Poe into the sodden horrormeister we know today. By contrast, a subplot involving the threat to Jefferson's slaves—among them, his alleged mistress Sally Hemings—presented by Monticello's foreclosure remains steadfast in its solemnity, even when its characters' dramatic function is reduced to mere reiteration of the crisis at hand.

This last theme ( Did I mention the vodou-conjured specter of Haitian rebel Toussaint L'Ouverture? ) may explain the inclusion of many familiar faces from Congo Square Theater Company in this Aurora Theater Works inaugural production. Under the direction of Anthony Irons, a hard-working cast led by Marty Lodge as the philosophical Jefferson and Jeff Kurysz as the bewildered Poe maintain a sobriety lending a veneer of plausibility to Geoghegan's speculative hypotheses, despite anachronisms like the prevalence of portable writing instruments. What the results may lack in theatrical craft, however, they nevertheless redeem in the questions they raise about the truths we complacently claim to hold self-evident.


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.