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 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Sweat
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2019-03-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Lynn Nottage

At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: 312-443-3800; Goodmantheatre.org/Sweat; $20-$80. Runs through: April 14

Sometimes theater grabs you by the guts, sometimes it sucker-punches you. Sweat does both. The Chicago premiere of this 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is among the very best productions of the 2018-2019 season. It's enthusiastically and convincingly acted by a superb all-Chicago cast, who've honed their rich ensemble skills among Chicago's off-Loop theateres—but it's far more than that.

The play itself is the sucker-punch. Author Lynn Nottage makes the most ordinary blue-collar people not only utterly believable but also special, little-by-little, even though they appear in situations we've seen countless times in plays, movies and on TV: union labor squeezed by management in a crumbling economy. She makes those familiar circumstances both powerful and entirely pertinent to America's present anti-immigration rhetoric, although Sweat takes place in 2000 and, briefly, in 2008.

Nottage has crafted a well-made play, a theatrical technique perfected in the 19th century in which all character points and plot details mesh like cogs in a great machine, playing out to inevitable ends. Like the characters themselves, the audience unknowingly is swept along in the increasingly tense and rapid mechanics. One might not realize it, however, because Nottage's language is so exquisitely plain-spoken and real, although it still has power to entrance. Just listen in Act I to Tracey ( superbly bellicose Kirsten Fitzgerald ) talk about respect for craftsmanship, and how folks used to dress up to shop Downtown. It's a wonderful ride as paced by master director Ron OJ Parson, who extracts a rich vein of comedy as well. Set chiefly in a neighborhood bar near a steel plant, the banter between the regulars is raucously funny ... until it isn't.

Sweat begins shortly after white supremacist Jason ( Mike Cherry ) and newly devout Chris ( Edgar Miguel Sanchez ) are released from prison, then flashes back to show us what happened, involving Chris's unemployed father Brucie ( Andre Teamer beautifully underplaying ), mother Cynthia ( heartfelt Tyla Abercrumbie ) and Cynthia's co-workers/besties Tracey and Jessie ( convincingly inebriated Chaon Cross ). Friendships crumble when Cynthia is promoted to supervisor, followed by union-busting ruthless management actions that affect everyone. Even avuncular, generous bartender Stan ( Keith Kupferer in mostly-cuddly mode ) and uncomplaining, hard-working bar back Oscar ( keenly observant Steve Casillas ) are drawn in.

Nottage didn't set Sweat in Chicago but Kevin Depinet's enormous, untidy and utterly accurate barroom set definitely places it here, trimmed with a dozen Miller Lite banners. Sweat is about here, now and us. Almost tenderly, it also calls up legacy, those who came before us—whether slave or immigrant—and worked for what we have, or think we have. Sweat reminds us that what we have is very fragile—not unlike American democracy—and complicated. Sweat is what theater should be.


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

Pride poetry-slam competition June 12 2019-05-22 - In honor of Chicago's Pride Month, The Blackstone, Center on Halsted and StoryStudio Chicago invite the community to celebrate all things love this ...


Gay News

Xavier MaatRa on produce company, consulting, other pursuits 2019-05-22 - Giving back to the community has been the focus of Xavier MaatRa's professional life and that has culminated in the creation of their ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Crowd You're In With 2019-05-22 - By: Rebecca Gilman At: AstonRep Theatre Company at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Tickets: 773-828-9129 or AstonRep.com; $25. Runs through: June 16 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Next to Normal 2019-05-22 - Book and Lyrics: Brian Yorkey; Music: Tom Kitt. At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe Tickets: 847-242-6000 or WritersTheatre.org; $35-$80.Runs through: June ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Crowd You're In With 2019-05-22 - By: Rebecca Gilman At: AstonRep Theatre Company at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Tickets: 773-828-9129 or AstonRep.com; $25. Runs through: June 16 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-22 - Playwright: Sandra Delgado At: Teatro Vista/Collaboraction at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: TheDenTheatre.com; $30-$60. Runs through: June 22 ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-05-22 - Late Nite Catechism, Royal George Theatre, open run—On May 26th, Vicki Quade and MariPat Donovan's internationally acclaimed solo show celebrates its 26th-year anniversary ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Killing Game 2019-05-22 - Playwright: Eugene Ionesco, translated by Helen Gary Bishop At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722; ARedOrchidtheatre.org; $30-$40. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-22 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $20-80; GoodmanTheatre.org/thewinterstale. Runs through: June 9 Why The Winter's Tale? Robert ...


Gay News

Spotlight 2019-05-22 - "Caged Miami Heat" and "Murder on the Sicilian Express" are the deliciously irresistible titles of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3, ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.