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 2017-02-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Rutherford's Travels
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2016-11-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: adapted by Ilesa Duncan and David Barr III, from the novel by Charles Johnson. At: Pegasus Theatre at Chicago Dramatists, 773 N. Aberdeen St. Tickets: $30. Runs through: Dec. 4

Virtually every culture includes in its folklore tales recounting the adventures of social misfits who forsake home and kin to roam the wide world, and in doing so, come to discover their place in the cosmos.

The chief contribution of the North American variety is the significance of nature itself in the hero's journey to maturity. Peer Gynt and Lemuel Gulliver might observe alternative civilizations, but in a nation spanning an entire continent, the role played by wilderness primeval in precipitating mortals to contemplate their legacies is inevitable.

That's what co-authors Ilesa Duncan and David Barr III see in Charles Johnson's The Middle Passage, anyway. The results of their expertise is a thrilling page-to-stage—400 pages and a 25 foot-by-20-foot stage, to be specific—yarn, narrated in story-theater fashion, drawing on classics like Huckleberry Finn and Moby Dick, while also referencing real-life events such as the Amisted uprising.

It is 1830. Our restless soldier-of-fortune is Rutherford Calhoun, one of two brothers freed from slavery by a kindly, but filially biased, owner. After fleeing the family farm in Illinois for the port city of New Orleans, where he forges a career as a card sharp and pickpocket, Rutherford's bachelorhood is threatened by a bluestocking damsel determined to banish his wicked ways by marrying him. He escapes by stowing aboard an outgoing ship, only to discover that his getaway vehicle is bound for Africa, its goal to bring home a cargo of natives to be sold for slaves—not just any natives, but members of the much-feared Allmuseri tribe, said to possess occult powers.

While at sea, Rutherford has an opportunity to observe a microcosm of society, all of whom exhibit the contradictions to be found in a complex and imperfect universe: even the cruel Captain Falcon must answer to merciless masters, and Rousseau's myth of the noble savage collapses beneath a prisoner insurrection. Rutherford comes to realize the importance of individual actions, vowing to find his peace on his own initiative.

Though Pegasus Theatre's cramped rental quarters at Chicago Dramatists cannot quite contain the spectacle this literary genre demands, Barr and Duncan's text is exemplary in its efficiency. Likewise praiseworthy is the ensemble led by Breon Arzell as the picaresque Rutherford ( also featuring memorable character work by Ron Quade, Nelson Rodriguez, Gary Houston and newcomer Naima Hebrail Kidjo ). When a play needs nothing more than a bigger room and budget, its future is auspicious.


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

Hairspray on stage in March 2017-02-15 - Naperville ( February 13, 2017 ): A plus-sized teen is determined to fulfill her show business dream in Hairspray, the winner of eight ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Scottsboro Boys 2017-02-15 - Playwright: Music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, book by David Thompson. At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Faceless 2017-02-15 - Playwright: Selina Fillinger. At: Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: 847-673-6300 or Northlight.org; $30-$81. Runs through: March 4 Selina Fillinger's ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Wolf at the End of the Block 2017-02-15 - Playwright: Ike Holter. At: Teatro Vista at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000; TeatroVista.org; $25-$30. Runs through: March 5 ...


Gay News

Theater Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2017-02-15 - Theater Spotlight Gay actor Steven Strafford, famed for his one-man show Methtacular!, goes solo once again to star in William Spatz's world-premiere play ...


Gay News

'Gender Breakdown' looks at gender equity on and offstage Feb. 16-March 19 2017-02-15 - Gender Breakdown is Collaboraction Theatre Company's first world premiere of 2017. The production, with 10 female identified performers and an all-female identified production ...


Gay News

Entertainment news: Lea DeLaria, Aretha, Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Murphy 2017-02-15 - Lea DeLaria recently told E! News that she's "the lesbian Jack Nicholson," adding, "I'm dating a lot, dating a lot of young girls. ...


Gay News

About Face Theatre to Blast Off at Wonka Ball Forbidden Planet 2017-02-14 - CHICAGO ( February 14, 2017 ) — Get ready to blast off! About Face Theatre ( AFT ) invites guests to the final ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater to screen Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project 2017-02-13 - CHICAGO, IL — Black Ensemble Theater proudly announces a special, one-night-only event to screen Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project( LLCVP ), which ...


Gay News

Reading of LGBT Themed "Sycamore" at Center on Halsted Feb. 17 2017-02-11 - CHICAGO — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Center on Halsted will host a reading of Raven Theatre Company's world premiere production of Sycamore in ...


 



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
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.