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 2019-10-02
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Mosque Alert
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2016-04-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Jamil Khoury. At: Silk Road Rising, 77 W. Washington St. Tickets: 312-857-1234; www.silkroadrising.org; $35. Runs through: May 1

Both my reviews this week are about highly political plays inspired by true events. Each, in its own way, condemns intolerance and the manipulation of perceived knowledge.

Set in 17th-century Italy, Bertolt Brecht's Galileo is every bit as modern as Mosque Alert, Jamil Khoury's world premiere set in today's Naperville. Some contemporary religious authorities use sanctimonious arguments to condemn, say, stem cell research as surely as 1600s Church authorities condemned Galileo's proof that the earth circles the sun. In Khoury's play, bigotry is non-denominational but almost racial as Naperville residents oppose repurposing an historic building as part of an Islamic cultural center. Several Islamic characters call non-Muslims "white people" while opponents of the Islamic center refer to "us" and "them." Khoury ups the ante by also addressing Islamic intolerance when the local Imam scorns a young, gay journalist who likens Islamophobia to homophobia. Bigotry, Khoury confirms, is an equal-opportunity offender.

Khoury's play is more complex than Brecht's, which occasionally verges on polemics. Khoury employs polemics only once—to devastating effect—closing Act I with a vicious, demagogic, incendiary attack linking all Muslims and Islam to terrorism and world conquest. The falsehoods of the speech, cloaked in patriotism ( impeccably delivered by Steve Silver ), made me want to shout down the fictional character on stage! They also suggested thoughts and actions implied by certain Presidential candidates. Brecht's attitudes are definitive and Galileo has a definitive ending ( supported by history ), while Khoury's intelligent and focused script is satisfied to raise many issues—perhaps too many for the play's two-hour running time—without providing definitive endings either for his story or its characters.

Mosque Alert presents two Naperville families—the Islamic Qabbanis and Christian Bakers—who are longtime friends. The young adult kids are close social friends, while the wealthy fathers ( Tawfiq and Ted ) are personally tight, politically well-connected and equally corrupt. Circulating around them are the assimilative local Imam ( no beard, no robe ) and his firebrand wife, and Ted's pathologically-bigoted brother who stirs up the hateful hornets' nest. Political and religious complications—such as that of MINO individuals, over-assimilated "Muslims in name only"—strain families and friendships, although the wives and kids reconnect in a semi-idealistic ending even as the fathers threaten each other. There are no easy answers here.

It's a snappy two hours, fluidly directed by Edward Torres on Dan Stratton's beige-toned, thrust-stage unit set, with actors swiftly rearranging basic furniture pieces and windows to suggest the play's locations. The energetic company genuinely conveys the mixed feelings of disappointment, anger, betrayal, concern, cynicism, sincerity and hopefulness through which most of them ( but not quite all ) pass. The issues of Mosque Alert are large, real and occurring HERE and NOW, so attention must be paid.


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

About Face Theatre to present Packing 2019-10-12 - Learning who you are means knowing where you come from, and where you belong. From writer/performer Scott Bradley ( Scooty & JoJo's ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Big Fish 2019-10-11 - Authors: Andrew Lippa and John August At: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: BoHoTheatre.com or 773-975-8150; $25-$35. Runs through: Nov. 17 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW A Doll's House 2019-10-11 - Playwright: Henrick Ibsen ( adapted by Sandra Delgado and Michael Halberstam ) At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: WritersTheatre.org. Price: $35-80. ...


Gay News

The Simon and Garfunkel Story extended through Dec. 8 2019-10-10 - CHICAGO ( October 10, 2019 ) — Broadway in Chicago is delighted to announce the internationally-acclaimed hit theatre show THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL ...


Gay News

Guy Branum, queer comic, coming to Zanies 2019-10-10 - Out comedian Guy Branum is returning to Chicago with a brand new zany stand up act. Hailing from Yuba City, California, he ...


Gay News

Lesbian comedian's release show Oct. 17 2019-10-08 - Chicago-based lesbian comedian Whitney Chitwood will have a new album, The Bakery Case, out Friday, Oct. 18—and she will have a release show ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW X 2019-10-07 - Playwright: Alistair McDowall At: Sideshow Theatre at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: VictoryGardens.org 773-871-3000; $20-$30. Runs through: Oct. 27 ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT A Man of Good Hope 2019-10-06 - Through Oct. 13 only, Chicago Shakespeare Theater hosts South Africa's Isango Ensemble in the highly-praised, A Man of Good Hope, a fact-based story ...


Gay News

CRITICS' PICKS 2019-10-06 - The Delicate Tears of the Waning Moon, Water People Theatre at Steppenwolf, through Oct. 13—Playwright/actor Rebeca Aleman combines a moving, fragile human story ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Raveling 2019-10-05 - Playwright: Walkabout Ensemble, Fides Krucker, Guild of the Goat & Morgan McNaught At: Walkabout Theater Company @ Victor Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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


 



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 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.