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 2018-05-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-09-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Book: Jay Paul Deratany; Music: Joe Stevens & Keaton Wooden; Lyrics: Stevens, Wooden & Deratany. At: Permoveo Productions and Pride Films and Plays at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-327-5252 or AlbertCashierTheMusical.com; $40. Runs through: Oct. 15

There's no denying the timeliness of the world-premiere musical The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier—especially in light of the Trump administration's plans to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the U.S. military.

This musical aims to be a rallying piece of theater for LGTBQ activists and supporters since it takes its real-life inspiration from Albert D.J. Cashier, a likely historical transgender pioneer. Born in Ireland as Jennie Hodgers, Cashier honorably served during the Civil War as a male Union soldier and nearly led the rest of his life in the guise of a man.

Yet what's on display at Stage 773 is a boatload of good intentions undermined by leaky theatrical storytelling. The musical frustratingly only skims the emotional complexity of Cashier's desire to enlist in a war and his need to self-identify as male.

There was potential in playwright Jay Paul Deratany time-shifting show structure that has Broadway veteran Katherine Condit portraying "Old Albert" and trans performer Danni Shay of America's Got Talent fame as "Young Albert." Facing the onset of dementia and the trauma of being exposed by a largely hostile hospital staff led by a malevolent Nurse ( Delia Kropp ), Old Albert flashes back to his time when he initially presented as male as a 19-year-old enlistee in Company G of the 95th Illinois Infantry.

Deratany could have created more dramatic conflict by devoting more time to Young Albert proving himself as both a man and soldier. Right now the close friendships the diminutive Cashier forms with enlistees like the talkative Jeffrey ( Billy Rude ) and medic Walter ( Cameron Armstrong, representing, in part, the plight of African-Americans serving for the Union side ) come off as too easy.

Often the songs—written and compiled by Joe Stevens, director Keaton Wooden and Deratany—come off as ponderous and halting to the narrative flow. For instance, Walter's song "Following the Sound" repeats information from the preceding scene before shifting to general platitudes.

It's also baffling when the show's creators often steer the focus away from Cashier in favor of minor characters. Why on earth does Jonathan Stombres, as hospital orderly John, get a razzmatazz song about his desire to travel to Chicago?

Director Wooden's staging makes fine use of G. "Max" Maxin IV's projection designs that feature footage of Civil War re-enactments. Yet the brotherly bursts of choreography by Derek Van Barham can feel tacked on. The performances are largely all well-sung, although the full life-or-death or discovery dramatic stakes in key scenes aren't fully plumbed.

The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier clearly could do with another workshop production to fine-tune both the story and songs. But even in its current imperfect state, the musical honorably highlights the historical struggles of a transgender pioneer to draw timely and eye-opening parallels to LGBTQ soldiers and aging populations of today.


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

LGBTQ comedy company GayCo Productions to present P.ride C.omedy P.arty 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO—- Wanna party in the Chicago comedy scene like it's 1999? Tired of underage twinks asking for cigarettes when all you want is ...


Gay News

Broken Nose will receive award May 21 2018-05-20 - The League of Chicago Theatres announced Broken Nose Theatre as the recipient of the 2018 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. The ...


Gay News

National tour of Broadway production of Falsettos opens here May 28 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO ( May 14, 2018 ) — Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the 2019 National Tour of the Lincoln Center Theater ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Days Are Shorter 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Corinne J. Kawecki At: Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Buena, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets: $25; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com; 773-857-0222. Runs through: ...


Gay News

SUMMER THEATER SPECIAL Summer promises: Theater in and around the city 2018-05-16 - One might not believe it from the climate-change weather people are getting now, but summer is on its way and, with it, outdoor ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW ThroatPunch 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Sharon Krome At: Chicago Mosaic School, 1101 W. Granville Ave. Tickets: NothingWithoutACompany.org; $10-$20; free on select days. Runs through: June 3 ...


Gay News

Critics'Picks 2018-05-16 - Buddy, American Blues Theater at Stage 773, through May 26. Far more concert than story, the short, mostly sweet life of Buddy Holly ...


Gay News

Theater Spotlight on Don Quixote 2018-05-16 - Think Don Quixote, and most invariably think one of a ziggitygillion crooners going for the money notes in "The Impossible Dream." If you ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Flies! The Musical! 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Cindy O'Connor ( music ), Larry Todd Cousineau ( book and lyrics ) At: Pride Films and Plays at The Broadway, Pride ...


Gay News

Second City to host Pride sketch show 2018-05-16 - The Second City has announced a June run for "The Second City's Let's Make It Perfectly Queer: A Salute to Pride," a sketch ...


 



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.

 

 

 

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.