Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-01-21
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

BOOK REVIEW Soldier of Change BOOK REVIEW
Soldier of Change
The phone call began another very long day. It arrived approximately 10 ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

THEATER REVIEW Purple Heart
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2013-01-02

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Bruce Norris. At: Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Tickets: 773-728-7529; www.redtwist.org; $25-$30. Runs through: Jan. 27

After a playwright wins the Pulitzer for a drama crafted in the classic tradition, it's easy to forget that they once wrote in less lofty modes. (Compare Tracy Letts' epic August: Osage County with his brutal Killer Joe.) Audiences expecting this early play by Bruce Norris to deliver the historical footnotes and social commentary of the award-winning Clybourne Park will have to look hard to find them in this lesson on the pitfalls of writing on commission for a pre-cast ensemble—in this case, the Steppenwolf company circa 2002.

Our story is set in 1972, a few days after Army wife Carla Larson has received word that her husband has been killed in Vietnam. All the bereft spouse wants is solitude to sort out her mixed feelings about the loss of her abusive partner, but instead she is beset by her pious mother-in-law, her withdrawn preteen son and a hoard of well-wishing "vampires and vultures." There is nothing unusual about this situation: military marriages are frequently troubled, soldiers' sons often display a morbid fascination with wartime atrocities, and we have all encountered civilians who revel in sentimental patriotism.

Into this welter of family tension comes a stranger—a disabled GI whose laconic temperament allows him to shift allegiances with never a pause or stumble—and suddenly the play likewise shifts into Albee/Pinter mode. Is Cpl. Purdy an angel of life, come for a second annunciation? Is he an angel of death, and if so, what is the target of his mission? Then again, could he be an everyday stalker, preying on vulnerable women? Theatergoers uninterested in these questions may also track the intricate network of catch-phrases that wax and wane in their significance as the plot demands (the old "Will I be able to play the piano?" joke, for example, which becomes a bonding password for Purdy and Carla).

This atmosphere of unseen menace may have been suited perfectly to Laurie Metcalf's heebie-jeebie mannerisms, but the close quarters of the Redtwist storefront dictates an intimacy that renders Norris' enigmatic symbolism more annoying than threatening, especially since Redtwist company member KC Karen Hill makes Carla, not a congenital neurotic, but a victim of crisis, exacerbated by the bullying of alleged comforters whose attentions make a pervert offering escape, while still a pervert, look downright attractive by comparison. When we care about a character, authorial cleverness can do nothing but get in the way.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

Performance series highlights youth, seniors, LGBTQ isolation 2015-01-21
THEATER REVIEW The Book of Merman 2015-01-21
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Risk and resurrection: Theater classics, revivals 2015-01-21
THEATER REVIEW Keys of the Kingdom 2015-01-21
THEATER REVIEW Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them 2015-01-21
THEATER REVIEW A Map of Virtue 2015-01-21
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-01-21
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL LGBTQ theater has plenty to offer 2015-01-21
Theater news: Upcoming events 2015-01-21
WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Winter premieres: Something new 2015-01-21
THEATER REVIEW Cookie Play 2015-01-14
THEATER REVIEW 28th Annual Young Playwrights Festival 2015-01-14
THEATER REVIEW The Kiss Kiss Cabaret 2015-01-14
Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-01-14
Theater: MLK show; Sweat Girls at Fest; Comedy theater opens 2015-01-14
OUTspoken! takes place at Sidetrack 2015-01-13
THEATER REVIEW Bye, Bye, Liver 2015-01-13
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Telling tales and getting sketchy 2015-01-07
DOUBLE REVIEW The Pirates of Penzance; The Mikado 2015-01-07
Sweat Girls part of Fillet of Solo Festival 2015-01-07
THEATER REVIEW Cupid Has a Heart On 2015-01-07
THEATER REVIEW Penny the F*ckable Dolphin: A Love Story 2015-01-07
THEATER REVIEW Panic on Cloud 9 2015-01-07
Theater Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2015-01-07
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Sadieh Rifai's 'Human' nature 2015-01-07
Theater notes: Rose Tattoo; McNally as featured playwright 2015-01-07
Comedians present cancer show at Sketchfest 2015-01-07
Richard Blanco, August Wilson part of poetry series 2015-01-07
Local entertainment coming up 2015-01-06
TV 'Love Boat' actress Jill Whelan sets sail, talks Cosby 2015-01-06
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-12-31
Chicago theater in 2014 2014-12-31
Smart moments in theater in 2014 2014-12-31
Sandra Bernhard; John Waters; Taylor Lautner parties 2014-12-30
The Black & White Ball staged reading Jan. 20 2014-12-26
Holiday chestnuts 2014-12-24
THEATER REVIEW Burning Bluebeard 2014-12-24
THEATER REVIEW Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose 2014-12-24
THEATER REVIEW Airline Highway 2014-12-24
THEATER REVIEW Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella 2014-12-24





Copyright © 2015 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.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Chicago City Council prohibits police profiling of trans* people
 
Jobe to become Illinois tourism chief
 
Community responds to Rauner's nomination of Meeks as ISBE Chair
 
Aon devotes various resources to diversity
 
Legislation banning conversion therapy in Illinois is reintroduced
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.