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 2018-09-19
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 Not One Batu
by Sarah Katherine Bowden
2018-07-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Hannah Ii-Epstein

At: Berger Park Coach House, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd. Tickets: NothingWithoutACompany.org;$25. Runs through: July 21

There is nothing playing on Chicago stages like Hannah Ii-Epstein's Not One Batu. Many productions may be about drug addiction and family tension, but none are exploring meth culture in Hawaii. Many productions may be outdoors this season, but none are likely to examine the Lake Michigan setting in Berger Park as both paradise and prison.

Director Rachel Slavick's ensemble for Nothing Without a Company features a wealth of talented actors with roots in the Pacific Islands. In both content and casting, Not One Batu is unique. That uniqueness is one of its greatest asset, as the ensemble and subject matter blend to create an unforgettable evening of theatre.

Honey Girl ( Marie Tredway ) is a meth dealer waiting for her customers in an seaside park. Her Ma ( Lelea'e "Buffy" Kahalepuna-Wong ) drops by one evening to hash out their estrangement and reconnect with her daughter.

Honey's customers include a Marine named Toully ( Tony Rossi ), her Book of Mormon-thumping friend Sherrie ( Gloria Alvarez ), and a jumpy user named Max ( Jae K. Renfrow ). Honey Girl had been a meth user in the past, but recently stopped in order to pass drug tests and regain custody of her child, Junior. She plans to live with her kid and Braddah ( Ian Voltaire Deanes ), as long as Ma does not spoil her plans by bringing the chaos of her own drug use into her daughter's life.

Ii-Epstein is from Hawaii, and creates a complex world of shifting alliances and good-natured ribbing in this drama. As they struggle with the inequities and dissatisfaction of living in paradise, there is never a doubt that the men and women onstage feel legitimate affection for one another.

Slavick gives her ensemble plenty of room to move in the park space. She isolates Tredway in one corner of the park, often facing the water when other characters smoke meth, so the audience understands how she is able to deny how her own drug-dealing is affecting her loved ones. When a fight erupts, Slavick and fight choreographer Jaq Seifert move the action as close to the audience as possible, bringing us into the energy of an unpredictable park brawl.

All the actors ( the ensemble also includes Scott Hanada, Bobby Wilhelmson and Heather Jencks ) do fine work, and they handle the complications of performing in a public space with aplomb. The company rolls with the noise of nearby traffic and conversation, even playing with people on the common-area bike path.

One final note about this production's singularity: It features musical performances by the Aloha Center of Chicago at the start of each show. The joy and pride on display during that section nicely set the stage for the mix of elation and sorrow to come.


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

'Homos' ends Sept. 30 at Pride Arts 2018-09-26 - Homos, or Everyone in America will run through Sunday, Sept. 30, at Pride Arts Center-The Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway. Jordan Seavey's play follows ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble to add 'Women of Soul' 2018-09-26 - Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2018 season ( "Movers and Shakers" ) with Women of Soul ( With a Tribute to the Queen ...


Gay News

'La Boheme' at Lyric Oct., Jan. 2018-09-26 - Giacomo Puccini's romantic opera La Boheme ( which, among other things, inspired Rent ) will run at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker ...


Gay News

E. Faye Butler in 'Gypsy' Oct. 12-Nov. 25 2018-09-26 - Porchlight Music Theatre's Mainstage 2018-19 season launches with Gypsy, A Musical Fable, Oct, 12-Nov. 25, at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, ...


Gay News

Sidetrack's OUTspoken! Series, October's featured storytellers 2018-09-26 - The September edition of OUTspoken! LGBTQ storyteller series takes place Tuesday, October 2, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St. Doors open at 6 ...


Gay News

All female-identifying improv troupe opens The Shrews: Present Unsex Me 2018-09-25 - Chicago, IL — The Shrews are proud to announce the opening of their first run of improvised shows, The Shrews: Present Unsex Me. ...


Gay News

'Indecent' in Chicago: Paula Vogel talks art, policies and haunting play 2018-09-24 - Talking with Paula Vogel is the easiest thing in the world. Her friendly, open demeanor makes it feel like a long, warm conversation ...


Gay News

Curve of Departure 2018-09-24 - Playwright: Rachel Bonds At: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.Tickets: 847-673-6300; Northlight.org; $30-$88. Runs through: Oct. 21 This new play, in ...


Gay News

Arms and the Man 2018-09-19 - Playwright: George Bernard Shaw At: City Lit Theatre, 1055 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Tickets: City:Lit.org; $32. Runs through: Oct. 21 This 1894 ...


Gay News

Odessa 2018-09-19 - Playwright: Michaela Heidemann At: Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St. Tickets: theRBP.org; $10-$20. Runs through: Oct. 6 The Ukrainian city of ...


 



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


 



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.