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 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Steamworks the Musical
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2017-05-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Stephanie McCullough, Mike Gifford, Parker Callahan & the cast. At: Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-697-9693; TheAnnoyance.com; $20. Run: Fridays through June 16

Long-partnered as I am, I didn't realize that bathhouse culture still flourishes in Chicago, or at least in Boystown, as the very funny Steamworks the Musical makes clear. This is an expanded version ( with new songs ) of an Annoyance Theatre hit of several years ago. It will be a hit again if its very limited run can be extended.

Y'see, Al the twink arrives from Nebraska saying, "I've never been gay before," meaning he couldn't act gay back home. ( I dunno, I had a really hot threesome once in Lincoln. ) Almost immediately Al meets Carol, the Boystown faghag who complains she can't score cock on the Halsted Strip. After a stand-and-pose stop at Roscoe's, Al follows a hot guy to Steamworks and quickly learns the ropes via song ( "The Lay of the Land" ) from bathhouse attendants Twinkie-Dee and Twinkie-Dum as well as long-term customer Chester, who claims he hasn't left Steamworks in 12 years. Eventually, Al connects with his dream man, a stooopid musclehead owned by the King of Steam, an assertive diva cock who rules the Steamworks roost. No more plot details or I'll spoil the fuck-off for you. Oh, didn't I say? There's a fuck-off between Al and the King of Steam. But enough!

The theater program doesn't identify who plays whom, but all 10 actors have strong voices and great comic timing, and Al is cute as a button. They sing about tits 'n' pits, the scuzzy whirlpool ( complete with turd puppets ), a love song ( "I'm Wet with Love" ) and a charmer titled "Falling into the Hole." You get the idea. Everyone uses condoms and there's a song about PrEP, which doesn't inhibit the gross-out jokes one bit. There are witty remarks as well, such as Al's admission that he's "not cool enough for Sidetracks" and never has "enough singles for Lucky Horseshoe." He may be a newbie but he's been around the block fast!

There's little story and little in the way of production values—a basic set and a few well-fastened towels—but that's the nature of the cabaret-style Annoyance Theatre. Music director Stephanie McCullough has coached the company well and accompanies on keyboard. Director Mike Gifford keeps things fast but crisp. He's very wisely refrained from picking a cast of Boystown beauties. Everyone onstage is a real person with a real-life body ( FYI, there is no full nudity ) ranging from buff to chub, blond hair to gray hair, chest hair to no hair.

American theater has a distinct subset of bathhouse plays: The Ritz ( McNally farce ), Steambath ( Bruce Jay Friedman's 1970 non-gay drama ) and Tubstrip, a 1974 gay comedy. Steamworks the Musical is a worthy addition. Some enterprising troupe should do them all in rotating repertory.


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

Spotlight on Irving Berlin's White Christmas 2017-11-22 - Get in a Broadway holiday mood by taking in the touring return of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. The popular screen-to-stage show not only ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2017-11-22 - Becky Shaw, Windy City Playhouse, through Dec. 17. "Love is a by-product of Use" says a cynical cad in Gina Gionfriddo's slyly Machiavellian ...


Gay News

'Tis the Seasonal Depression 2017-11-22 - Authors: Sarah Collier, Katie Cutler, Evan M. Duggan, Julie Fishbach, Clay Goodpasture, Christopher "Tito" Thies Lotito, Greg Phelps and Laurel Posakony. At: Pride ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Escape to Margaritaville 2017-11-22 - Score: Jimmy Buffett; Book: Greg Garcia & Mike O'Malley At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: 800-775-2000 or BroadwayinChicago.org; $35-$115. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Importance of Being Earnest 2017-11-22 - Playwright: Oscar Wilde At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. Tickets: writerstheatre.org; $35-80. Runs through: Dec. 23 On the evening of ...


Gay News

OUT FRONT seeks play submissions 2017-11-21 - About Face Theatre is seeking play submissions for its OUT FRONT Series, an annual line-up of workshops and readings of new and developmental ...


Gay News

Gift Gala on Dec. 1 at Copernicus 2017-11-21 - The Gift Theatre will present its 16th annual benefit, Gift Gala 2017: Revolutions on Friday, Dec. 1, 6-10 p.m., at the Copernicus Center, ...


Gay News

Magic Cabaret closing Dec. 27 2017-11-19 - After a decade-long run, The Magic Cabaret is ending. David Parr and Joe Diamond are wrapping up the run with four more ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fade 2017-11-19 - Playwright: Tanya Saracho At: Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $15-$56. Runs through: Dec. 23 During ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Breath, Boom 2017-11-19 - Playwright: Kia Corthron At: Eclipse Theatre Company at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: $30 Runs through: Dec. 17. ...


 



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

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.