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 2018-02-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER REVIEW Shakespeare in Love
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Lee Hall, adapted from Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard. At: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier. Tickets: 312-595-5600;; $58-$88. Runs through: June 11

As we always said about my late Aunt Anne, the world's sweetest woman, "So what's not to like?" If you loved the original 1998 movie of Shakespeare in Love, you'll love this stage adaptation. If you never saw the movie, you'll love this lavishly designed live version. If you hated the movie ... wait, that's impossible. It's hard to believe the vivid and thoroughly enjoyable film original is 20 years old.

For those unfamiliar with it, Shakespeare in Love concerns a young playwright-on-the-make in the competitive world of London theater in 1593. Suffering writer's block and short on cash, Will Shakespeare ( Nick Rehberger ) finds inspiration in the arms of a beautiful, strong-willed, intelligent, wealthy young woman ( Kate McGonigle ) who is destined to marry Lord Wessex ( deliciously supercilious Dennis Grimes ). Shakes himself has a wife and kids back in Stratford, so the relationship never can be more than a blazing meteor that burns out, but out of it comes Shakespeare's early romantic hit Romeo and Juliet. An aging Queen Elizabeth I ( imperious Linda Reiter ) is present, as well as sexually ambiguous Christopher Marlowe ( charming Michael Perez ), Will's friend and fellow dramatist.

Author Lee Hall has adapted Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard's screenplay for the stage, retaining all the wit and fancy of the original as well as cinematic fluidity and speed. The revolving scenic design by Scott Davis and lighting by Robert Wierzel provide an ever-changing landscape for a seamless scene-to-scene flow. Director Rachel Rockwell quite smartly treats the whole thing as if it were a musical, perhaps in part because she's best known as a musical director and choreographer. The group scenes are carefully choreographed to the incidental music of composer Neil Bartram, and there is a lot of music as if it were underscoring a film. Matt Hawkins provides swashbuckling and skillful fight choreography. ( Did I mention there are several sword fights? ) Susan E. Mickey's beautiful Elizabethan-era costumes run the gamut from fairly plain and practical for Will to colorful peacock outfits for the likes of Wessex and Queen Elizabeth.

The cast is top-notch across the board and ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek which absolutely is the correct tone for this show, with Rehberger and McGonigle being a handsome and passionate pair as the star-crossed lovers. The supporting players are colorful masters of ( mostly ) comedy, among them Larry Yando ( a study in droll scene-stealing ) as theater impresario Henslowe.

Shakespeare in Love is a wonderful film romp and it works just as well live on stage, maybe even better. I can't explain why—it's a mystery.

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.


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT The Burn 2018-02-21 - Philip Dawkins exploded onto the scene with 2015's Charm, inspired by the life of Chicago's Gloria Allen, a trans etiquette teacher. If you ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Breach: a manifesto on race in America... 2018-02-21 - Playwright: Antoinette Nwandu At: Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $15-$56. Runs through: March 11 An ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Moon for the Misbegotten 2018-02-21 - Written by: Eugene O'Neill At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: $35-80. Runs through: March 18 Writers Theatre's A Moon for ...

Gay News

CRITICS' PICKS Theater 2018-02-21 - Skeleton Crew, Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, through March 3. The experience of four blue-collar ...

Gay News

OPERA REVIEW Love Never Dies 2018-02-21 - Playwright: Andrew Lloyd Webber, music by Glenn Slater/Charles Hart, lyrics by Ben Elton, At: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. Tickets: 800-775-2000; ...

Gay News

Lyric's 'Jesus Christ' talent announced 2018-02-21 - Artists from the bands Postmodern Jukebox, tUnE-yArDs and Diane Coffee join Broadway and West End talent for Lyric Opera's North American premiere of ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fear and Misery in the Third Reich 2018-02-16 - Playwright: Bertolt Brecht At: Haven Theatre at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: $18. Runs through: March 11 ...

Gay News

Lesbian teens will attend prom together, Lambda Legal encouraged by response 2018-02-15 - ( Anniston, AL, February 14, 2018 ) —Lambda Legal received a response from east Alabama's Calhoun County School District today that an Alexandria ...

Gay News

The Condition of Femme at Pride Arts Center in March 2018-02-14 - Circle Theatre's World Premiere The Condition of Femme will explore the many facets of rape culture March 2 to April 1. Lauren Marie ...

Gay News

Harris Theater presents 2018-19 Mainstage Season with Opera Atelier, English National Ballet 2018-02-14 - Chicago, Ill. — The Harris Theater for Music and Dance announces its mainstage season lineup for 2018-19, as the Theater celebrates 15 years ...


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.








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.